Pre-internet-world consumerism called word of mouth recommendations ‘referrals’. These were typically shared verbally: “ABC Roofing did a great job, and they were reasonable too!”
As the online world creeps into our lives more and more, the lost art of conversation becomes increasing apparent. How do businesses get their messages out to their audience? How do they get endorsed? This is not to say that people aren’t referring others to good service providers. This still happens regularly. But what about those people who don’t have a common thread with your fan base? How do they become aware of the exceptional service you provide?
Word of mouth is king when it comes to effective promotion. Countless surveys attest to this fact. And, today’s word of mouth is social media. Taking advantage of these phenomenal communication platforms can be a great tool in letting others know just how good you really are.
The following are a few ways to get happy customers to become ambassadors or even evangelists, helping you promote your offering and influence public opinion.
- Requesting a positive review in person: How often do we hear, “Thank you so much for all you’ve done. You’ve been so helpful at this extremely difficult time.” Being prepared is the key here. After thanking them for their kind words, mention if they would like to share their feelings with others, they can submit a review on your FB page. Then offer a card with a link, to facilitate this. The card is important! Without it there is, as we say in marketing, a gap. Gaps are areas where the resulting action is not acted on. Hopefully, when they review the package you’ve given them, they will see the card and be inclined to write a review; and given they are happy with your service, you’ll get a high star rating. Be sure to thank them for the review or at very minimum, like it!
- Requesting a testimonial through print: Include, with the package you give your families a mention of your social media presence. Invite customers to like and follow and leave comments. Invite them to submit a review.
- Requesting a testimonial on your social media platform. Why not access your fan base. They follow you, read your articles, sometimes like them and sometimes comment on them. Advising them periodically that they can leave a review is one more way to get kind words said about your company. People who follow your business are already your fans.
A few final words. What you say and how you say it is important. Conveying thoughts in print requires tact and empathy. The customer should want to help and feel good about this.
Sometimes an incentive needs to be offered, perhaps a contest. And what is decided on as an inducement, needs to be tasteful, given the sensitive nature of the business. Lastly having a high star rating positions your firm as a leader, striving to provide the best services. People will see and notice this when they are online.