Is word of mouth more valuable than a Google search?
The value of word of mouth recommendations is undeniable. It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools, and can form a significant part of your business’ turnover.
However, the increase in technology over the past two decades has created a 24/7 society, with customers now demanding excellent service no matter the current time or their location. The ongoing news and social media cycles puts businesses at the mercy of disgruntled customers constantly, as unhappy consumers can voice their complaints online for the rest of your consumers to see.
Previously, consumers would all get their news from editors in newspapers, and personalities on television and radio. Today, everyone can post ‘news’ online, and there are even satirical and parody ‘news’ sites that solely publish false news.
One thing hasn’t changed, however: for a business to be successful, it must gain the trust of its consumers. If customers don’t think highly of a business, they probably won’t shop there.
That important philosophy carries over into the way companies should be running their online marketing.
If you’re not sure of your business’ current reputation, a quick Google reviews search will let you know. Pay great attention to these reviews as your potential consumers researching your business can also see them!
These days, simple word of mouth recommendations probably isn’t enough to give your business the success you’re after. While consumers still ask their friends for recommendations, they also do comparison shopping online, they watch the news, and they constantly research businesses online.
Having an attractive online presence is critical to setting your business up for the best amount of success. These days, consumers won’t trust a business with an outdated website design or no social media presence.
Include pages for testimonials, recommendations, and case studies in your website design, as this type of information helps build trust with potential customers. These pages act as a type of online word of mouth strategy.
If you need to update your website design, R6 Web Design™ can help! With years of experience creating functional and artistic website designs, the team at R6 Web Design™ can create a website design that will help your business.
So what are the keys to communicating with your customers online?
- Trust – Be honest and transparent with your customers, especially with negative news.
- Work openly with customers – If you can’t meet their expectations, let them know as soon as possible.
- Check your social media – The more you check it, the better, especially if you’re a large company where issues can rapidly blow out of control.
- Don’t fight back – Remember, in most cases the customer is always right, even if they’ve posted a scathing review online. Work with them openly to try and resolve their issues, but never close them off, ignore them, or delete their posts – that will only make the situation worse.
- Check review sites – Industry sites like TripAdvisor, Gripe, Zomato, and even Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are filled with reviews. Make sure you pay attention to what your customers are saying – ignoring feedback will only lead to peril.
Word of mouth should still be an important aspect of all business’ marketing plans, but the need is now geared towards online word of mouth recommendations. Businesses need to ensure they have a good website design that incorporates word of mouth features, such as testimonials and case studies, as well as be aware of their online reviews on social media, Google reviews, and industry review sites.