Get Your Advocates In Sync for Positive Word of Mouth

April 17, 2008

In many instances, small businesses have no clue why their customers refer them to their friends and colleagues. Okay, they may have a clue, but it’s usually pointing to the wrong thing. If you are a service company and most of us are, then you need to know what your best customers are saying about you. Do they highlight the same things you do in your brochures, web site, face to face touch points? Or do they refer you on the basis of more personal and emotional criteria? Are your messages complimentary or conflicting?

Effective word of mouth marketing begins with delivering an experience that people will talk about and making it easier for those that want to, to talk about it, especially your advocates. Consistent delivery of a superior customer experience can be the source of your referrals. Companies like Disney, Lexus, Ritz-Carlton take their customer experiences seriously. Keep these companies in mind when thinking of ways to improve your customers’ experiences.

Another way to make sure your advocates are saying the right things about your company is to share stories with them that they can relate to their circle of influence. Also let them be the first to know about anything new that you’re doing. Maker’s Mark the premium Bourbon distiller has a Brand Ambassador program. It’s their way of acknowledging their advocates and giving them a place to get information about their favorite libation. Their main purpose is to make it easier for Ambassadors to spread the word.

When considering a word of mouth campaign focus on consistent delivery of a superior customer experience and provide your advocates with the information they’ll need to send the right messages about you.


One comment

  1. You are making a great point here, particulalry about understanding what your advocates are actually saying about your brand or service, vs. what you may be intending your message to be. If you pay attention to what the ambassadors are saying, this may lead you to change your marketing materials to be more in line with the benefits your ambassadors truly experience.

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