It’s common knowledge in any customer relationship. Or at least it should be. And what’s more is that, despite their seemingly unlimited marketing budgets, even big box retailers like Amazon and Walmart understand the importance of this relatively low-cost approach.
Simply put, it’s the intangible benefits that result from authentically nurturing customer relations over time. Indeed, that’s why word-of-mouth reviews are so powerful. That is to say, they not only help you to increase business, but also, in the long run, gain customer loyalty.
Word-of-Mouth Referrals are Reviews
With referrals, you have two options. You can either ask your customers directly for a referral or rely on the perceived value of your business—fantastic product, service, etc—to do the “talking” for you.
A word-of-mouth referral is simply the verbal equivalent of a great written review. In other words, it’s the end result of positive feelings felt by the customer and then expressed to others.
The Key is in Showing Customers Value
If you want to increase business then simply let customers know they are valued.
This can be done in many ways. You could give something away for free, offer a discount for “preferred” customers, or write a blog with pertinent information your customer can use.
The possibilities are only as endless as your imagination.
Developing a good connection with your customers increases trust in your business. In fact, it is this very feeling (however intangible it might seem) that will make happy customers want to wax poetic about your business or store.
Make a Commitment to Your Customers
While word-of-mouth referrals and reviews are important for business success, outstanding customer service and support are critical steps to getting there. In other words, you can’t have one without the other.
Remember, for instance, the old computer acronym GIGO? Well, similarly, all you will get from mediocre customer service are mediocre customer reviews. Not to mention zero referrals.
Ultimately, in order to increase business on a budget you must commit to always putting your customers first. No matter what.
Because that’s when it happens. You start reaping the rewards of increased customer loyalty—the essential ingredient to your long term business success.
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