Do you know what customers are saying about your company? Learn how word of mouth marketing can help build a positive brand image at Checksforless now.
Word of mouth has always had a powerful effect on small and large businesses. However, its influence has changed over time. Before the Internet, customers would need to have in-person (or phone call) contact to discuss their in-store experience. This limited reach was a drawback if the customer experience was good…but a boon if the experience was not. It’s the same in today’s world, but the stakes are much higher. Today if a customer shares his/her bad experience with your brand, it’s going out on social media for all to read. And god forbid the comment goes viral. On the other hand, brands today have the ability to shine on social media, visibly strengthened by the power of positive word-of-mouth. Do you know what kind of story your customers have created about your company?
According to “New Research Shows Social Media Word-of-Mouth Rising,” written by Kiera Stein and recently published by Social Media Examiner, social media is actually a pretty neutral space. After analyzing 1 billion brand mentions in a recent study, Mention.com found that 76% of brand mentions on the web and social media are neither positive nor negative. This statistic is amazing when you consider just how much ONE positive or negative story can completely take over a brand’s image.
It also demonstrates the difficulty in achieving transformative and glowing word-of-mouth from customers. Luckily, there are things you can do to help shape the next chapter of your brand image. Stein’s article includes some great “stand out” strategies to inspire customers to spread the word about your brand, generally summarized below. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves?
Do you remember the days when customer service was limited to your in-store experience? Those days are long gone! Today, most customer service happens online through virtual chat assistance, troubleshooting online forums, or on social media platforms. Busy people are more likely to flock online to ask questions or submit feedback than they are to pick up the phone. So how quickly should you respond to customer inquiries? Research shows that consumers expect brands to respond to their tweets in less than an hour. With that kind of turnaround time, businesses need to employ the right resources to meet these demanding expectations.
Use customer questions and concerns as selling points for your brand. Acknowledge their concerns (especially if negative) and offer detailed advice and solutions that fulfill their needs. Don’t rely on canned responses and don’t send customers off to your website; make the solution happen on your social media pages. After all, what better way to go the extra mile than when everyone is watching?
Would you believe that 68% of U.S. social media users ages 18-34 and 53% of those ages 35-44 say they are “at least somewhat likely” to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media updates? It’s true, according to research firm eMarketer.
Obviously, you can’t force your customers to say nice things about you, but you can certainly make it easier. Your thank-you page, post-online purchase, is a tremendous opportunity to extend the transaction one step further. On this page, thank customers for their support and invite them to share this with their friends. With the right social sharing icons and pre-populated text, this seamlessly easy addition has the potential to get its wings.
To further facilitate positive word-of-mouth, don’t be hesitant to ask for customer reviews. If you’ve done your job well, and you are confident about your products and services you provide, ask your customers to share it with the masses.
Information is great, but it’s not always exciting, so entertain your customers. In fact, 82% of consumers enjoy brand content as long as it provides personal value, usually humor.
If you’re still not convinced that you need to strengthen your funny bone, Pew Research says that 35% of men and 43% of women are on Facebook to see entertaining or funny posts.
Getting a laugh from your customers can be a challenging task, but one funny post has the potential to snag more engagement and shares from your customers than you receive all year. Aim high and it will pay off.
At each customer touch point, whether it’s a sale or a one-minute chat, you have the opportunity to create an experience that will translate into positive word-of-mouth for your business. When you realize how transformative this review can be, you will rightfully recognize that every single customer has the power to make or break your brand.
This article is made possible by Checksforless.com For more than 35 years, Checksforless.com has provided over 500,000 businesses with high quality business checks, deposit tickets, and other banking supplies with easy ordering and fast production times; all at the guaranteed lowest price in the nation. Our discount business checks are easily customizable and compatible with over 4,500 software programs including QuickBooks® and Peachtree®. Email or call us toll-free at 800-245-5775 or visit us online at Checksforless.com.