For many local businesses, word of mouth is the only marketing effort in the business plan. The business owner figures he’ll deliver a great product or service to his customers, and they’ll tell all of their friends about it.
While the thinking makes sense, the actual implementation of this marketing strategy is mostly left to hope and chance which are not at all within the business owner’s control. If word of mouth is going to be your primary means of getting new customers, here are two ways you can create some process around word of mouth activity.
Help Your Customers Write Testimonials for Your Website
For customer testimonials that you add to your website, you have more control over the process than getting reviews on third-party sites. While one option is to just ask your customers for testimonials, another option is to help your customers create testimonials by asking leading questions or writing the testimonial yourself and having your customer approve it.
For many people, writing testimonials is a chore because there’s a large “blank slate effect”. This is caused when you’re asked to write something you may never have written before, and you have anxiety about where to start and how to write it. Knowing that your customers are going to feel this way, help them along with a few questions that when answered, will help you feature different aspects of your business.
Here are a few examples:
- How were you treated as a customer?
- Did we do what you expected us to do when you came to see us?
- Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague?
You’ll want to tailor these questions to your business, but these three questions help you create a starting point for your customers to write their testimonials. Send these questions in a follow-up to your customers, or include them on a page on your website that covers giving testimonials and online reviews.
Are there other tactics you’ve used to collect testimonials from your customers?
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