In today’s digitally charged consumer market, the best marketers are your consumers. Many new customers are driven to businesses through word-of-mouth (WOM) reviews, and many loyal customers choose to abandon or stick with a company based on continued experiences. With social media and consumer review sites everywhere, it is vital that customers are happy with your goods or services.
This applies to audiences new and old. Companies often focus their marketing efforts entirely on gaining a new customer base. While this is obviously essential to growing a business, it also essential not to overlook those customers who have been on the bandwagon for a while. Pleasing both groups and maintaining positive relationships with customers is the most effective marketing tool you can have.
Financial and resource constraints also make it difficult for many small businesses to push out big marketing campaigns. This is yet another reason why building a loyal following and maintaing positive word-of-mouth reviews is crucial. It is a cost-effective way to get new faces in the door and new clicks on your website.
But how do you make sure that your word-of-mouth reviews will help and not hurt your business? It’s easy. Allow the customers into the company, and make them feel valued. This can be done by:
- Actively responding to comments and posts on social media. Engage thoroughly with customers who take the time to communicate with you.
- Immediately respond to any complaints or issues raised as these can quickly grow out of control when not addressed.
- Make sure the content you are posting to your accounts is effective, well-planned, and not overwhelming.
- Maintain your manners. Create a notification system that will allow you to thank new customers who make an account, sign up for a newsletter, or join your community. They will appreciate a personal acknowledgment of their engagement.
A 2013 study by Nielsen found that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing. However, the study also found that 72% of marketers are still not harnessing the power of customer referrals (Lowitz, view source: http://blog.getambassador.com/6-amazing-stats-that-prove-word-of-mouth-marketing-is-here-to-stay/). For small businesses with limited marketing budgets, focusing power on social media and customer loyalty is a sure way to make the most of WOM and bring more success to your business.
These are simple ways to begin and maintain a good relationship with new customers. Building a loyal base will be vital to the future of your business. Once people start talking about your wonderful customer service and personal touch, more will come.