Word of mouth has always been the cheapest and most reliable way of picking up new customer accounts or client contracts dollar for dollar. Having a loyal brand fan sell on your behalf, simply because they like your service, also provides you with the perfect channel to market free of marketing costs and delivered via a credible, third-party non-affiliate. What’s not to like?
Here are some leverage tips:
1. Keep up with the Comms commitment and stay vocal
Whilst you can get referrals once in a while when a friend asks a friend if they know anyone who proves a certain service, remaining bright, at the forefront and with top-of-mind recall is the best way to replicate this success over and over. On social media, be chatty and interactive instead of just pushing business messages out against a communications plan. Be real, and be active.
2. Offer rewards to your brand fans
Reward your regular customers, and go the extra mile to reward those who are serving as unpaid ambassadors on your behalf. They are much more likely to expand their efforts if they know those efforts are appreciated by you, and at least in some way rewarded. Develop an incentive plan to convert more customers into “pushers”.
4. Listen to criticisms and fix issues
No matter how well you conduct business there will always be the odd unforeseen problem, perhaps with the performance of a product or an unsatisfactory service request reply. You can switch round negative situations by showing that the criticism is valued by you and that you are able and willing to make the customer happy, even in somewhat stressful circumstances. This is a great way to convert dissenters into reps.
5. Be approachable, and value feedback
Learn what your customers most value and most want. Work hard to develop solutions that show you are working behind the scenes on addressing customer concerns and needs, because you like to as well as because you need to.
6. The customer is (nearly) always correct
It’s a bit of a cliché but customer service is paramount – even when serving those obnoxious, unforgiving or extremely unreasonable clients. Even the toughest customers can see that your efforts over time are worth rewarding with good word of mouth and ambassadorial loyalty.
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