Word of mouth is now the name of the customer service game.
One of the fundamental building blocks of a successful business is repeat business and referrals. In order for our business to not only survive but thrive, we have to ensure that our clients and customers are totally ‘in love’ with what we do for them, so much so that they tell everyone they know!
People are big mouths, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. Think about it: if a regular business frequently does something over-the-top for us and we’re tickled pink about it, we’re going to brag about it to everyone we know.
Conversely, if a business does something that makes us feel wronged or taken advantage of, well, we’re going to do the same thing, aren’t we?
We’re going to tell everyone we know.
These scenarios are potentially going to affect that business either in a beneficial or a detrimental way – because what we say to others is going to be shared. The people we tell are surely at some point going to relay the information (good or bad) to other people whenever that particular business name comes up.
Furthermore, it’s not like it will dwindle out in a week or two. Oh, no. Five years from now someone is going to relay the same story… albeit altered by time (and let’s not forget how stories morph as they get ‘whispered down the lane’).
So whatever business we’re in, we absolutely want to provide exceptional customer service (see previous article) so the stories that are being told by our ‘big mouth’ clients are the good ones!
And since these customers already adore us, why not get their endorsements in writing? Ask them to write a letter, in their own words, about how our business has helped them or why they enjoy working with us. Then utilize this letter (and all others like it) in our promotional efforts – our website, blog, Facebook page, brochures, etc.
It’s proven that prospects find this type of information to be more valuable in decision-making than any marketing material we may write ourselves – so capitalize on it!
On the flip side to this coin, we also have to figure out which are those folks who left… and ask them why. People leave because of bad service or indifference – these things can (and better) be fixed! Yes, it may be uncomfortable to call up Mr. Jones to inquire why he no longer uses us and horrifying having to hear his reasoning.
However, whatever the cause given by the customer, it’s an opportunity for us to remedy it! It’s a spectacular chance to make improvements we didn’t even know we had to make, to raise the bar, and to help our business stand out from the crowd. So we need to embrace this constructive criticism and then thank our customer and tell him the steps we’re going to take to fix the problem.
Even if we have to call him back in a week to share the solutions we came up with, won’t Mr. Jones be thrilled? And then won’t he ‘big mouth’ about it to his buddies? You bet ‘cha!
We need to go forward with our business endeavors believing that every single thing we do has the potential to reach a multitude of people and be talked about for years to come.
About the Author
Kimberly J. McCloskey describes herself as a “Professional Virtual Assistant and Animal-Lover Support Specialist”. Article © Kimberly J. McCloskey.