The business equivalent of a pat on the back is a happy customer. They walk
away satisfied with your service or product and will be back again, and you
are left with a feeling of “I must be doing something right!”
They’ll probably even recommend you to their friends and family, turning that pat on the back into a profitable high-five.
This is what is known as word-of-mouth marketing, and it is as powerful as it is free. One customer turns into two, three, or even more just because of one (exceptional) experience. It is especially important for new businesses building up their credibility as well.
All good things, right?
Here comes the “but” though. It’s unreliable, inconsistent, and unscalable. You can’t guarantee that every customer will spread the word or what exactly they will say, and their reach is limited to their personal social circle.
Don’t get us wrong! We absolutely adore word-of-mouth marketing, but recommend some structure to transform it from a small-scale added bonus to your bottom line into a marketing powerhouse!
The Fix: Customer Reviews
Enter word-of-mouth marketing for the 21st century - online customer
In this day and age, we make many purchase decisions based on the opinions of complete strangers! In the last 10 years, online reviews have become the new form of personal recommendations. Just think about it.
You will probably struggle to remember when you last made a major purchase or booked a service without reading the reviews. Before choosing a restaurant, we check Yelp. Before booking a hotel, we read guest reviews. Before buying a new lipstick, you guessed it, reviews!
When you are deliberating among possibilities, it’s the reviews that will probably end up swaying you.
The same applies to your own business; potential customers will first check the reviews. When you are new in the game, competing against well-established players with hundreds of reviews seems like an uphill battle. But every review counts and one by one you will build up your credibility among potential buyers.
No matter what field you are in, you want your customers to leave reviews, the building blocks of your online image.
Remember that both positive and negative reviews are an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with existing customers and attract new ones.