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word of mouth

gamecockfan

New Member
I know that there are a million ways to advertise these days but I have always found that positive word of mouth is one of the best ways to get great business response. Have you all found this to also hold true? But I guess the question is how do you start that positive feedback and have it trickle to the masses and your target audience?
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
I think word of mouth is more powerful in service based businesses as it's really the only think that sells it. If you sell a product then I guess you would hope that the product sells itself or that good marketing does.

I think you create positive word of mouth by giving excellent service to your customers. I think you can also help create it by asking for testimonials etc. You also need to realise that it's probably quite a slow process but it's an important thing to learn and adopt in your business if you want to grow and flourish.
 
stugster

stugster

Active Member
Verified Member
Word of Mouth is King in my industry.

Apart from my direct marketing (Insecure Wifi etc.),WoM generates at least 50% of my Home User business turnover.

Thank heavens I'm doing something right! :)
 
D

Dizzydiza

New Member
Word of mouth is the best kind of advertising you can get. At my last wedding fayre I had three separate brides come to see me on recommendations of their friends or family who have already bought something from me. Over the past year and half I have had several brides come to see me again because I have already done their sisters wedding or their cousins wedding or their best friends wedding etc. I always ask my new customers how they have heard about me and although many of them say that they got my card at the wedding fayres I still get quite a lot saying any of the above stuff. :)
 
S

Sally

New Member
I am certainly finding word of mouth to be king in the dating industry. People have been trickling in with each advertisment but current members are bringing them in much faster and for free.
 

ahop23

New Member
Do you find that you have to bend over backwards to offer special deals to really get positive word of mouth or does it all simply boil down to good service? I have always been the consumer who will pay a little more just to get better service but in today's economic times who knows if this still holds true? Do you think that you should also give special deals to those who are referring for you?
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Ahop, it's a given that you should be incentivising both the referral and the referrer. If you can keep this going then it's simple maths to see you will build a business purely on that. You have to decide what your acquisition costs are for each client and you should have measures in place to do that.

I think you're right to be concerned about the current climate as well. Sometimes it wont matter how good a service you give, if people start to tighten their belts and deem your service a luxury then you could lose out purely from economic reasons and nothing to do with how good the service is.
 
S

Sally

New Member
Providing excellent customer service is certainly paramount but it must also be sustained and not simply to get them through the door.

I also believe that personality plays such a large roll in a small business, be that on or offline, if you are genuine, friendly and honest customers will return and bring in new customers.

As for a downturn in the economic climate, if people do start to tighten their belts I think we need to be ready to identify with our customers and make offers that sound genuine and not simply desperate because we are losing business and need to hang on to what we have. People tend to respond negatively to desperation.

Well that is my plan anyway ;)
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Sally,

You make some great points. I think you hit it on the head by saying customer service needs to be at the heart of the business. You also make a good point about the economic climate and I hope my post was not construed as all doon and gloom. Many businesses will flourish in the current climate and i'll bet it's the ones that dont appear desperate that flourish the most :)
 
I'd say that well over 80% of my business comes from W.O.M. A lot of this is down to track record and reputation. But as Sally suggests a lot comes down to personality too :) I tend to be a bit of a grumpy old git... ;) Don't suffer fools gladly... Amd very much a 'nuts and bolts' sort of a guy. As a result I tend to get quite a specific kind of client... and I've geared my service around that.

Bizarrely perhaps for someone who produces what is essentially a marketing tool I actually find that my advertising spend is relatively small... Good service is what it's all about; and whether we're in times of economic turbulence or not, marrying THAT to great value and consistency is what not only gets folk through the door one, but keeps them coming back...
 
S

Sally

New Member
but as a customer your grumpy old git, nuts and bolts attitude would work for me. I hate the hard sell, just tell me what you can do to help my business, what it costs, the time frame and show me others it has worked for, don't waffle at me ....... if your product or service works I will soon find out. (by the way what is your marketing product/service ... in grumpy old git terms please).

I don't think your post was doom and gloom, it was realistic and if small business owners bury their heads in the sand hoping the economic downturn is a figment of the imagination then some will struggle to survive.
 
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:) It seems to work for quite a few folk. Most of my clients are either in the engineering or construction fields. They tend to be practical people selling sensible products that (in the words of one recent client) "just work". EXACTLY the sort of folk who will rail against the 'hard sell'; yet products and services still need to be sold both to them and by them....

What I do is produce corporate videos... 'By Trade' I'm a broadcast cameraman who 'graduated' to directing and producing programmes. The essence of what I do is to strip away much of the claptrap that generally goes with production companies. We don't do the plush city-centre office thing. We don't schmooze PR and advertising people. I don't even employ someone to answer the phones! It's very much on the scale of a personal 1:1 service...

We treat everyone the same way whether they're the CEO of some multi-national or the owner of a corner shop...

On the technical front it's the process of having a programme produced the client is buying RATHER than the notion of just hiring in some guy with a camera. The latter notion being a completely vacuous one...

I'll always work with minimal crew and use the right tools for the job rather than the ones I happen to have standing idle. That way clients don't get BS'd into paying for a high end full broadcast crew and set up (as is very common) for something that could and should be shot by one person with a single camera...

Although I DO produce broadcast work that's a separate operation from the corporate side of things. We have no plans or pretentions to gear up specifically for broadcast or become a facilities house; THAT would mean buying in high-end equipment which would need replacing every 18 months to two years. Costs which would have to be (and with many other companies are) routinely bourne by the majority of clients to whom there is in reality no practical benefit in using such kit.

We work with industrial grade equipment (which curiously enough still produces broadcast-standard pictures!) and only buy in to new standards or new technologies when we're convinced they're a) stable and b) of real practical benefit to our clients. As a result my nearest 'worthy' competitor charges just over
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
I think what works for you Matt is the placement of the ad at the end. I think what you've created here is a service that you can actually see which is quite unique. It's kind of like a service cum product which I think is quite rare. I think it's great it's working for you and it's testaments to your talents if it's selling itself. If you're happy with how the business is going then I see no need to gear up to do anything bigger.
 
I think what works for you Matt is the placement of the ad at the end. I think what you've created here is a service that you can actually see which is quite unique. It's kind of like a service cum product which I think is quite rare. I think it's great it's working for you and it's testaments to your talents if it's selling itself. If you're happy with how the business is going then I see no need to gear up to do anything bigger.

Well I'll stick my hands up and come clean. TFGtv isn't the whole picture. I lecture a couple of days a week and I DO take broadcast commissions, which these days are routed through the limited company.

Past manifestations of the business HAVE gone for the mainstream market. Back in the mid-80's when I started that was where the work was; and to attain any sort of quality you HAD to go full broadcast. It was a stressful time, and managing that monster required compromises in other parts of one's life. (To the point where I now get Nectar Points from my divorce lawyer...:D ). To stay in that sector means creating a monster that, as I said, consumes kit and requires constant re-investment to stay on the 'bleeding edge'.... Is it worth it? Financially not really, and personally... nahhh! Life's too short..

W.O.M does seem to be the most effective way of getting publicity, but to be fair it's boosted a bit by the fact that my name's fairly 'well kent'....
 
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