Before I begin the discussion, let me define what Word Of Mouth marketing is. Basically it is one person talking to another person about your business. In many cases it is either the best form of marketing or the worst form of marketing. Positive Word of Mouth is great for a new business, but negative Word of Mouth can actually cause a new business to fail. In reality if all you want is for people to just talk about your business all you have to do is provide lousy products or services. Lousy products or services coupled with rude or non-existent customer service will definitely get people talking about your new business. This is called negative Word of Mouth, and since people will usually tell at least 10 people about something negative that happens to them, it is a great way to kill a new business.
I assume from the question that we are not talking about negative Word of Mouth, and would like the answer to focus on getting people to spread positive Word of Mouth. In my opinion, there are two main ways of getting people to talk about your business in a positive way. The first way to try to do something exceptional for each customer you deal with. Unfortunately, in the age of lots of competition just being good at what you do is not enough to get people talking about you. Being good is now considered average and it is what is expected. People expect good products and services and people expect to be treated with fairness and respect. If you want to get people talking about your business you have to go past “good” and do something exceptional. Let me give you a few examples.
A new cleaner opened up in my neighborhood. To me it was just like any other cleaner. One day I needed a suit cleaned to I took it to the cleaner. The lady at the counter took my name and address and said that it would be ready in a few days. A few days later I picked I up cleaning. It was done exactly as I had expected, no problems and the prices were OK. There was nothing exceptional in the transaction. About two months later my wife asked me to drop some stuff off at the cleaners. I happened to be driving by this particular cleaner so I stopped in again. Here where the exceptional part comes in. I had not been in this cleaner for two months, but when I opened the door the women behind the counter said, “Hi Mr. Voss, welcome back, what can I do for you today?” I was shocked, she knew my name! I had to ask, how she knew who I was, I hadn’t been in the store for two months and our conversation had lasted less than 30 seconds. The women behind the counter explained that she was the owner of the cleaner and she made it a habit to try and remember the face and name of every customer. Her goal was to greet each customer personally even if they had only been there once. To me this was “exceptional” and it caused me to go back to the cleaner over and over again. In addition I have told over 20 people this story and I am even writing about it in this blog.
Not everyone has the type of memory to remember names and faces. There are many other ways of being “exceptional”. I will give you more examples and discuss the second way of getting people to spread positive word of mouth about you in future blog posts.
If you have questions for the blog or want to comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org