Word-of-mouth is the oldest form of advertising, public relations and information sharing that we know of. And in today’s world, largely due to social media, it has added great reach and faster spreading of information than we've seen before. Just ask Tiger Woods, Penn State, Herman Cain, Bank of America, Apple, Lady Gaga and Egypt.
I get most of my viral, real-time news from social media. In fact, that’s how I learned about of the death of Michael Jackson and that Osama Bin Laden was killed. These are just some examples of how powerful the speed of word is today, and it's been quite interesting to see how in merely 24 hours information can change shape and alter perceptions.
The bottom line is that word-of-mouth remains the most effective way people learn about things, information, companies and the people behind them. It really can “make or break you” and much faster than ever before.
So how do you and your business become the subject of more “good” word-of-mouth? Here are five lynchpins of trusted, viral word-of-mouth that are common sense, timeless and proven.
- Relationships. Build strong relationships with people based on a solid foundation, commonality, respect and reciprocity.
- Results. Leverage, lead with and share results with your tribes and communities and toot your own horn in a good way about the value and benefit you have brought to others.
- Referrals. Get referrals when you do great work and turn that into living testimonials that are your most powerful word of mouth tool. Success leads to success.
- Recommendations. Getting recommendations created around the buzz of people who are talking about you is priceless. Imagine having recommendations from people you may not actually know who recommend you because someone they trust is talking about you!
- Customer retention. Making customer retention a priority ensures longevity with those relationships you worked so hard to build. Don’t slack, don’t skimp, don’t cut corners and don’t say no. Always find solutions, compromises and ways to make things happen.
Putting your customers first and setting them up for engagement, acknowledgement and reward will ensure consistent word-of-mouth and higher customer retention. It should be a priority. The higher, the more personalized and customized your customer service priority the more word-of-mouth you will get.
It’s a simple formula: more customer service = more word-of-mouth = more customer retention.
What’s the best word of mouth tactics that have worked for you?