Word-of-mouth (WoM) in business is about someone that you know or know of telling you about, for example, a fantastic company or a service that is great. Privately, it may be that a friend has been to a wonderful restaurant and therefore recommends you go and eat there.
Why then do we recommend others about companies, products, services and experiences?
We usually do this when our expectations are exceeded. When we, for example, have been to a restaurant where the food has not only been fantastic but where they also made that little extra that you had not expected. That is when we are pleasantly surprised and the experience is so good that we want to tell this to our friends and acquaintances. Later in this blog post I will give you some concrete examples of how this can be done and have been done before.
Did you know that 50-91% of all purchases, depending on the industry, come through word-of-mouth?
But despite this, almost no company has a strategy for this. Isn’t it a little strange then that so much of the revenue is created this way?
Why don’t companies have a strategy for working with WoM ? I would say it is because we have taken Word-of-Mouth for granted over the years!
What is a good Word-of-Mouth strategy? How do we get our customers to talk about us to others?
A good Word-of-Mouth strategy is not to give all new customers an iPad so that they are so happy that they tell their friends about it. This is not a Word-of-Mouth strategy but an offer to attract new customers.
A really good strategy must include the following parameters: Relevance, Realistic, Remarkable and Repeatable.
What is meant by Relevant?
It is incredibly important that what your strategy is about is relevant and linked to what your company produces or stands for. An example of this is a hotel that has a slogan that is “A warm welcome to us” and where the guest in connection with check-in always gets a warm and good chocolate brownie. A simple thing that fits with their slogan and with the feeling they want the guest to feel when checking in.
What is meant by Realistic?
It usually does not take much to exceed a person’s expectations therefore it is just unnecessary to try to do too much. Maybe you have seen an advertisement at some point where it says that you can win a round-the-world trip for 4 people if you sign up for an offer. This usually does not work so well as we usually feel that it will be too hard to win. It is therefore better to think of small simple things that can make a person really happy.
What is meant by Remarkable?
The best thing is if you come up with something out of the ordinary. For example, before there was more than one company that would give all new customers iPads. It is therefore better to do something that stands out and do something that the customer could not have thought of at all. For example, in a shoe store, it would fit quite well if there was a shoe polisher at the checkout that fixed your shoes while you waited to pay. Something like that.
What is meant by Repeatable?
For this strategy to work, it needs to be something simple enough to be able to repeat over time. A really good example is a hamburger restaurant that does a super simple and smart thing. The restaurant has only about 10 seats and you order at the counter. Just before the customer shall pay, they put up a deck of cards on the counter and say: Take a card at the top of the pile and if it is a joker, we give you the food for free 🙂. How smart! If you get the joker, you will not have to pay for the meal. As the deck of cards decreases each time someone takes a card, the odds of getting a free meal also increase. In other words, the restaurant gives away between 2-3 meals a day and the value they get back in the form of Word-of-Mouth is incredible! Because when someone wins, they make it a big thing with drums, hats, confetti, etc., which makes everyone want to film and take photos to post on social media. This is a simple thing that they can repeat every day of the year.
What should my Word-of-Mouth strategy look like?
When setting your strategy, it is important to think about the four parameters above. The most important thing is probably not to make it too big, but it is also important to find something that is so simple that it can be done all the time every day without having to take too much time and money from you. However, it always takes a small investment on your part to be able to exceed a customer’s expectations, but once you do, this will have good effects in the form of increased sales and new customers.
I think the best way is to just do it and test it to see what works best. I think you will be amazed at how little it takes to make a customer extra happy. If the strategy does not work, just try something new. The great thing about a Word-of-Mouth strategy is that you will not communicate to the outside world that you are doing something extra for your customers but it should just be done and be a part of your process. If your chosen strategy does not work, just try something new until customers’ expectations are exceeded 🙂. It will be appreciated and they will probably tell others.
Good luck setting a fun and effective strategy for Word-of-Mouth!