With the ever increasing number of people accessing the internet, businesses, both new and established, have been forced to re-think how they promote themselves. Building an online presence, whether with a traditional website, social media, or a combination of both, has become a must. This is all well and good, but these businesses must also keep in the mind the one method that has remained tried and true, regardless of technological advances; word of mouth in marketing.
Arguably, the best way to create a positive word of mouth buzz is to provide exceptional customer service. Too many businesses get caught up in pumping out glitzy ads, catchy slogans, and celebrity endorsements, all the while forgetting that it’s making the customer feel special that will bring them back. Take a book store as an example; the big chain store will have lower prices, book club memberships, and an overpriced coffee shop tucked in the corner, but will spend the whole time trying to upsell their customers on everything from bookmarks to e-readers. Meanwhile, the little old book shop across the street has higher prices, an inferior selection, but has a small staff that remembers your name, what genre of books you like, and a friendly, inviting atmosphere that makes you feel at home.
It is exactly that level of service that will bring someone back and, more importantly, have that customer telling their friends about how cool that little old book store is.
Positive word of mouth in marketing is the cornerstone to the success or failure of any business. The person passing on the buzz has nothing to gain by doing so, which brings a level of honesty and trust that far outweighs any paid celebrity endorsements. Even if that celebrity is completely likeable, we are still aware that he or she is receiving a check for their thumbs up.
This is not to say that the internet has no place in word of mouth in marketing. It is actually quite the opposite, and it is now essential that businesses use social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to build positive feedback. Hitting that little “like” button and sharing with your online friends is the online equivalent of word of mouth in marketing, and doing so can create a viral buzz that will spread faster than the traditional method, which is why the web presence we spoke about earlier becomes so important. That “like” can turn into a website visit and a sale in the blink of an eye.
In order to succeed, businesses must pay the same attention to online service as they do to in-store, creating a unified standard of customer care across all platforms. Take care of your customers and they will take care of you via word of mouth in marketing.