Today is the start of a new series, where we will be talking all about ‘Word of Mouth’ and how it can make or break a business in a very short period of time. In today’s post we will cover exactly what ‘Word of Mouth’ is.
Word of Mouth is easily the most powerful form of marketing and the best part is it’s absolutely free. People like to talk about the ads they see, experiences they have and the products they purchase. If you treat people right and spread the word about your new products/services in a positive way, you’ll attract the right customers and clients who will help sustain your business for a long time.
As positive as word of mouth can be for your business, it can also be extremely negative. Bad news seems to travel faster than good news and if you have a less than high-quality product or a poor customer service system, then your customers will tell everyone they know to not buy your products and services.
Technology proves to have amazing benefits for word of mouth. With blogs, podcasts, online marketing, forums, social networking and all the other online mediums readily available, it makes it easier for consumers to share their experiences – remember this is all free advertising for you.
Let’s take a minute to talk about the importance of shortening the customer decision cycle to help customers/client choose more quickly and easily. There are three great ways to increase sales by shortening the decision cycle. These are:
- Increasing the overall dollar amount customers spend at each purchase
- Increasing your number of customers
- Increasing the frequency of purchases
Now let’s take a closer look at decision speed. Offer a simplistic, easy and fun purchasing atmosphere to encourage your customers to make their decisions quicker and more confidently. When this happens your customers will purchase from you more frequently, spend more money than usual and refer friends/family. This can raise your market share by over 100 times.
It’s important to note that the time it takes your customer to make a purchase decision far outweighs any other component of marketing. When you focus on customer decision speed it forces you to take a good look at your companies image, positioning, value, customer service, guarantees and product quality.
To wrap up this week’s blog, we’ll cover how to minimize the friction, or stress, involved with decision making. No matter how easily people find decision making there is a certain amount of anxiety we all experience when making a purchase decision, especially from a new source or for a large amount of money. When you help to minimize this emotional response, you will soothe your customers’ anxiety and they will make their decision quicker and more confidently.
There are a few secrets to accelerate the customers decision making progress:
- Your features, benefits, claims and promises must be obvious, clear and concise.
- The information you offer must be easy to understand, credible and balanced.
- Use comparisons that show a distinct difference.
- Your guarantees must be rock solid and more than the customer expects.
- Make trial periods easy.
- You must have simple evaluations of your products or services.
- Testimonials need to be relevant and positive.
- Your customer support, delivery and other operational systems must be perfect.
Your website can be as good as you make it. You can offer more than information, you can offer an experience that guides your customers gently through the decision making process to make it easy for them to buy. Take it a step beyond by offering toll-free support numbers, software downloads to help with the process or other classy and informative ways to reassure your customers that you are there with them every step of the way and have nothing to hide.
This wraps up the first post of this series. If you need assistance with identifying your target market and improving your customers purchasing experience, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our coaches to come up with the best way to enhance your purchasing experience.