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The Very Best Form Of Advertising

Is word of mouth really the best form of advertising?

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. If you haven’t heard that a billion times you must be only 5 years old. It’s one of those things that “everyone knows”. Well if “everyone knows” this gem of knowledge, then why are so few companies actually DOING the things that create great word of mouth for their company?

Attracting new customers is always important. A healthy flow of new customers to a business keeps the business alive. Our current economic condition magnifies this need. So, recognizing that there IS an overall awareness of the constant need for new customers it could simply be that the apparent lack of effort in customer service is due to a lack of understanding, by both management and staff, as to what is considered great customer service and how, exactly, to provide it.

If a business is providing adequate, normal, regular run-of-the-mill service they will get SOME word of mouth referrals. The way this works is that if, for instance, someone asks you where to go for dry cleaning or computer repair you will most likely want to give some recommendation. People generally want to be helpful and we all like to give advice, so we will give some answer, we will often refer someone to a place where we received simply mediocre service. The point is that if you are providing what is considered to be good, or acceptable service you can only expect a few referrals.

On the other hand great word of mouth comes from a remarkable or memorable experience. Lets say that you have been in to your local veterinary hospital, or Thai restaurant and the experience was memorable you very possibly will not wait until some asks you for a good vet clinic or Thai place before you tell people about it. Your word of mouth becomes unsolicited. Have you ever done this or seen it done? I have seen people talking up their hair stylist or espresso stand to people who are bald or don’t even like coffee!

Let there be no mistake, unsolicited word of mouth is what will really drive in more new customers. This is (or should be) the goal of any company.

Unsolicited word of mouth DEFINITELY applies for bad service! Customers who are irate with a business will sometimes tell as many as 20, 30, maybe up to 50 people about their bad experience, with out ever being asked directly about the business.

Be sure to read the three related entries in the “Word Of Mouth” series for more!