SAN FRANCISCO — Word-of-mouth (WOM) consistently ranks highest in marketing effectiveness for dry cleaners when asked about their marketing results. This is true on both formal and informal surveys.
WOM creates similar results for consumer reaction in many industries and is even more pronounced in egocentric and personal industries like beauty, personal care, physician selection and fabricare.
According to Impactbnd.com, “92% of people believe brand recommendations from friends,” contrasted with a dramatic “75% of people don’t believe ads.”
That is a 167-point spread! “People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by friends,” and “WOM generates 2X more sales than paid ads.”
These results provide real incentive to you as the business owner to capture and share this powerful means of driving your sales to greater heights. Yet the same source indicates that “Only 33% of businesses are actively seeking and collecting reviews.”
When you offer a unique and positive experience, you will automatically receive some positive word-of-mouth. The purpose of this article is to help you increase the incoming praise and leverage the positive PR.
There are many ways to amplify the WOM for your company.
SHARE THE LOVE:
Once you have the endorsements organized, it is time to share them to reinforce your status as the go-to fabricare professional for your existing customers and prospects.
Social media and the Internet have made it much easier to share WOM while keeping it personal.
1. Personalized messages from your fans can have exponential impact when they Tweet, blog or post, i.e. on Pinterest. For example, they can post about their passion or a special event and add: “...Cleaners delivered my travel wardrobe suitcase-ready for the trip.” Remember that it shouldn’t be an ad, but rather a component of their lifestyle story.
2. Encourage events that provide your devotees a venue for sharing their love of your service. Examples:
a. One raving fan held “Ladies Who Lunch” events with the entry ticket being a bag of clothes for cleaning to be delivered to the location of their choice upon completion. Unique experiences are hard to come by, so this quirky approach was a big hit.
b. The sports-connected devotees may be able to get your van in front of the rink or near the playing field to promote a warm coat donation night.
c. Your retail partners can hold fashion and/or trunk shows where you are a visible sponsor.
d. Corporate executives that use your services might make your charity (i.e. Anton’s Belle of the Ball) a partner for their company community efforts.
e. Supply logo bags to hold the “goodies” that are distributed at their favorite charity event.
f. Provide a unique item for their charity auction that will grab the attention of the MC/auctioneer and keep them talking about your company donation, such as a basket full of laundry every week for a year.
3. Billboards, bus benches and buses, too can become panels that highlight your spokespeople photos and quotes. If you clean staff uniforms, ask for their employees to model for a before and after photo to be used in your media.
Invite your customers to take videos of themselves wearing/using your handiwork, such as a backyard party showing the patio cushions you cleaned; or their holiday dinner table dressed in perfectly ironed table linens.
You may remember from a previous article: “Livestream research shows that 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog; and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. 73% of B2B organizations report positive ROI from video marketing.”
4. Incorporate customer testimonials into your answering system, especially if you must put a call on hold.
5. Post customer stories regarding a problem you solved for them. (Everyone has problems they need solved and you provide solutions.) This could be the restoration of a special item such as: Granddad’s Christening gown for a new baby to wear (ask for video of the happy event); the cleaning of drapes to avoid purchasing new ones; the repair of an heirloom quilt; or the cleaning of a favorite but soiled handbag.
6. Credit on an electronic or hard copy program from a unique client, such as a museum, stage performance or concert.
7. Invite your raving fans and their guest(s) of choice to an event where they mingle, and you are tacitly endorsed due to their presence and shared experiences with your company.
8. Host a nonpartisan community event that shows your commitment to the community, like a candidate night or get out the vote gathering.
9. Showcase key employees saying what they like about your company and working for you. This can be good for morale, impress your customers and recruit new employees.
10. Provide speakers for professional programs, such as Rotary, Financial Women’s Association, and more. They always need interesting and informative speakers.
11. Network in the community where your customers and prospects circulate.
The tactics to leverage word-of-mouth marketing are endless. Embrace the ideas that best suit you and your company, and enjoy the very rewarding ego and financial results.
To read Part 1, go HERE.