If you’re a service company with a small advertising budget, discouragement can set in when you’re unsure about other ways to increase brand awareness.
We understand — we’re a service company too. We’re obviously passionate about digital marketing, but we’ll be honest with you:
Even with all of the technological advancements in advertising, word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is still the most effective advertising strategy.
As recently as June 2020, 93 percent of consumers said friends and family were their most trusted sources of information about brands and services.
This is good news for two reasons. First, WOMM is free advertising. Most people trust the recommendations of friends and family more than celebrities or “influencers” on social media, which means you don’t have to rely on paid endorsements for WOMM.
Second, you can earn WOMM by improving internal processes at little or no cost to you.
So how do you win prospective customers with WOMM? We recommend implementing these practices in your business to increase the likelihood that people will tell friends and family about your brand.
Be on time and prepared for meetings.
Being on time and prepared for meetings makes customers or clients feel like you take their investment in your service seriously.
Ask yourself what you need to be prepared for meetings. Do you need to do research? Are there questions you need answered before your team can provide a service? Make sure you write them down ahead of time.
If it’s appropriate for the service you provide and you want to go the extra mile, send your client a list of questions or an agenda ahead of time so they know what to expect and can think about their answers to your questions in advance.
Give customers (and yourself!) a timeline for service delivery.
It’s standard practice now for the United States Postal Service or a company shipping you a product to provide a tracking number. Don’t you love being able to see where your package is, where it’s headed next, and its estimated delivery? Without a tracking number, you might get anxious about when your package will arrive or if it’s lost in a pile somewhere.
Customers also like to “track their packages.” They like to know when they can expect a service to be delivered or completed. Giving customers a timeline for the completion and delivery of a service improves customer satisfaction.
But there’s another benefit: creating a service delivery timeline keeps you accountable and on track to deliver a service in a timely manner too!
Before you throw out a date for service delivery to a client, don’t forget to resource your project first. Check with the team working on the service and make sure the timeline is feasible for everyone before you promise a date for completion.
Offer great customer service.
Co-founder of NP Digital and marketing expert Neil Patel says, “When you’re seeking continual growth, brand advocacy, and retention, the simplest strategy is to provide a stellar customer experience.”
He’s right: when people have a great experience with your business from start to finish, they tell their family and friends about it.
There’s always room for improvement. So how can you improve your customer service? What holes need filling? Your answer will be different from other businesses. A simple way to answer this question is to ask how you’d like to be treated if you were on the receiving end of your service.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback too. After you provide a service, send a survey to customers and ask, “How did we do?” Tell them you’re always looking to grow and include a text field where they can share ways you can improve your customer experience. This is also a great time to ask for testimonials — a form of WOMM you can use too! (We wrote about how to collect testimonials here.)
Make your customers (not you) the hero.
A lot of service companies lose prospective clients because they talk too much about themselves. In other words, they make themselves the hero of the customer journey — not their customer or client.
In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller writes, “When a brand comes along and positions itself as the hero, customers remain distant. They hear us talking about how great our business is and start wondering if we’re competing with them for scarce resources.”
Customers can sense when people care more about serving their brand than them. If you want to win prospects with WOMM, position yourself as the guide here to serve your customers and help them succeed.
The key to WOMM is providing customers with a great experience all around. They’ll be sure to tell family and friends about your business if you make it clear your first priority is serving them from start to finish. Of course, top-notch customer service combined with a solid digital marketing strategy is sure to bring new customers or clients to your website or storefront. That’s where we come in. Schedule a call today, and we’ll create a digital marketing strategy to compliment your WOMM efforts.