You go on vacation to a certain destination because you maybe read about it, saw it on television, or better yet, a friend has been there and TOLD you all about what an incredible place it was. You buy a new car for similar reasons. You select a service provider in much the same way. So my question to you is what are you doing to earn the word of mouth advertising that is so important to any business?
Do people talk about your products or service? Do they shop with you or look at your website and say, “WOW I HAVE TO TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THIS!” Is the experience that they have with you something that will stay with them and make some sort of impact on how they perceive your category? Do you as a representative of your company give customers a reason to speak up about how great you are?
Some things you might want to know about the power of a referral:
- 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services-making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness.
- 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.
- 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
I know that many companies out there are always asking for the referral. “Like us on Facebook.” “Please fill out this survey and tell us how we are doing!” WHY SHOULD I? Why should I invest the time to go on your Facebook page and spend the 4 seconds it might take to like your company? Or even worse take a survey! Want me to give you my friends names and phone numbers so that you can reach out to them and sell them something. NOT A CHANCE. Unless…
Chic-fil-A blows me away every-time I eat there with the kids because the level of service they give here in Joplin rivals that of some of the best steak houses I have ever been to. At a hotel in Colorado I left my keys at a restaurant and the the hotel shuttle bus had shut down for the night. So the valet went and got his personal car and took me back to the restaurant to get my keys so I could leave early in the morning. I like shopping at Zappos because they create cool videos to help me understand their products better and the overall customer service experience is awesome. All of these guys fire me up. Yes I am a dork I suppose, but when someone goes above and beyond the other people in the market, I get excited about what they are doing at which point I am more than happy to spread the word to friends and family. Isn’t this true for you as well?
If all you are doing is making a bed that is pretty much like the rest of them in the market I doubt you are going to get a lot of love from your customers. If the shopping experience in your store is pretty much the same as every other place you go, then don’t hold your breath waiting for the Facebook like. Not only are you NOT going to inspire someone to lift you up to others, you are going to annoy them for asking for something so valuable as their time when you haven’t earned it. Want to create those raving fans that advocate for your brand? Become what you respect most in the companies you love.
UPDATE: A while back I asked you guys to respond to a young man named Richard Croddy who was working on a paper for his school. Richard works for Mattress Express out in Tennessee and needed for some of you to take his survey and you did! Richard completed his paper thanks to you guys and ended up with an “A” on the paper and an “A” in the class. Well done Q’s Views readers, and Mattress Industry Executives on LinkedIn, I appreciate everyone that took part. A special thanks to Sleep Geek for helping me get the word out!