I wrote recently about how important the medium is when trying to get viral word of mouth. Encouraging customers to talk about our product or service however is something we all aspire to, regardless of the medium they use to do so.
Here are five way to get your customers talking about you and your organization:
- Ask them – Any customer wants to feel valued by you, so why not ask them what it is about your products that they enjoy? Why do they buy your services? There may be some real insights lurking under the surface. With social media you can often get this insight without even having to ask, as customers share their thoughts online. Listening to what customers think however is a great way to get started in creating buzz.
- Educate them – Of course the best word of mouth happens naturally, but if you can create a strong customer community then it helps your customers to become both experts and advocates of your company and its products. So you want to educate them on your product yourself but also help them to educate each other.
- Include them – Part of this customer ecosystem should include you inviting your best customers to help co-create. Focus groups are the traditional manifestation of this, but you can do much better than that by using social media. See this example of how Lego have done this very well.
- Make them feel famous – Customer testimonials are great as they provide you with authentic feedback for other customers, plus they put the person into the spotlight. If you're hosting an event for instance it's very easy to go around with a camera and record some quick Vox Pox with customers on how they love you. Maybe you could ask them to write a blog on how they use your product, or upload photos to Pinterest or something. The web is awash with customers showing off how they use products, use your clout to bring them to the attention of your other customers.
- Surprise them – As with any nice treat, it always works best when the recipient isn't expecting it. Delivering something exceptional is without doubt the best way to garner word of mouth. A nice culture to empower this is by allowing people that interact regularly with customers to act off the cuff. If they have to ask permission to make customers feel special then it'll generally squash their initiative, but if they have the freedom to use their own instincts you'd be amazed what can be achieved.
A few simple things there that can help you generate word of mouth. I'd love to hear your thoughts and what has worked well for you, so leave a comment if you have any other ideas.