We all know that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. Each of us are more likely to trust recommendations from friends than we are from businesses. And, not only do we trust recommendations more, but research has proven that when we receive a recommendation or opinion from a friend on a product or service, we’re much more likely to remember that recommendation and business in question than we are any form of advertisement, regardless of how often we’re exposed to that advertisement.
Word of mouth is built on the relationship and service that we provide our customer. If we fail to delight our current customer, they’re unlikely to spread the word about our business. So, if we agree that word of mouth is our best chance of growing our business, we agree that the best way of winning new customers is by offering undivided attention to existing customers.
Unfortunately, it’s all too often the case that, once we feel a customer is ‘in the bag’, we switch our attention to winning new business through what we deem to be traditional marketing and advertising. We love our ‘potential’ customers until they become actual customers. When we neglect our existing customers, we lose any chance of earning word of mouth recommendations.
Fear of failure and the temptation of short-term wins draw us towards the least effective marketing tactics in todays market, like advertising, direct mail flyers and cold calling. If we focus that energy on earning the love of our current customers, not only will we win new business through referral, but it’ll be the kind of customer that isn’t driven by price.