The Best Word of Mouth Strategies We’ve Heard

Statistics show that referrals can create 65% of new business opportunities. There are even some businesses that generate all new business from referrals alone.

According to HubSpot, 71% of people trust reviews from other people. It is because it’s natural for us to look to the actions and responses of others to decide what we should do. That’s why referrals work so well.
It is a MAJOR opportunity for your business that you can’t afford to pass up. It’s the low-hanging fruit that you should be grabbing at.

In the trades and construction industry, an excellent customer experience is paramount. If you can provide that, you’ll not only gain their loyalty, they’ll shout about your products and services to other people. It becomes part of their daily dialogue, and you get hot leads from it! It is Word of Mouth marketing.

Some companies are built purely off WOM marketing – imagine what that would do for your business!
They can run like that because they implement tactics that encourage their customers to talk about them to their friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers. WOM marketing may become one of your most powerful tools in business!

So today, I’m sharing some of the best word-of-mouth strategies I’ve seen to help spread top-notch experiences with your business.

1. The Double Tree Cookie

The thought that you can tailor your career or business around your personal life and have them fit together ‘just so’ has got many into trouble. This idea comes from the many business ‘gurus’ who profit from selling you a dream with the easiest and quickest route.

But the catch is there is no easy and quick route. You’re not going to work with a coach who takes you to $1M+ per year in revenue by making a few minor changes and spending 12 hours a week working.

Business is demanding. It always has been, and it always will be. There are no magic tricks and shortcuts to success, so you must be prepared to do whatever it takes. 

Hard work and effort need to be part of your routine. If you knock off at 3 pm every day to pick the kids up from school, how will you motivate those staying at the office? Do you think they will power on until 5 pm or be on Facebook at 3.01 pm? If you’re close to signing a major client and they want to meet at 8 am, are you going to say no because you have yoga?

Upon check-in at any Hilton Doubletree hotel, the guests (every single one of them) are greeted with a warm chocolate chip cookie.

Social media is flooded with posts about the chocolate chip cookie. There are countless tweets about it, all because the cookie adds something to the customer’s experience that they didn’t expect, so it brightens their day. It encourages them to share their expertise.

Seventy-five thousand cookies are given out daily, and 34% of guests share this experience with others. That’s a massive 25,000 stories being told about DoubleTree every day!

It costs DoubleTree 20c per cookie (that’s $15,000 per day), but the ROI that this word-of-mouth strategy has then created is worth it!

2. Skip’s Kitchen

Skip’s Kitchen is located in California, and its word-of-mouth strategy is simple yet effective.

Customers must pull a card from the deck every time they pay for their meal. If they pull the joker, they get their meal for free.

It costs Skip’s Kitchen $2 for every $100 they make. They’ve never had to invest any money in marketing because this strategy encourages many people to share this unique experience on social media and rate the company online. It allows their business to operate solely off a WOM strategy.

3. The Neptune Theatre

In 1973, John Neville became the director of the Neptune Theatre. His method of reaching new audiences was a straightforward one that changed the business’s success!

When a new show opened at the Theatre, John would give all local taxi drivers free tickets. In exchange, they’d talk up the shows to their passengers.

After two years of implementing this strategy, the Theatre had doubled in subscriptions!

4. Penn & Teller

You’ve probably heard of Penn & Teller – the famous comedic act. If you buy tickets to their show, you’re expecting a spectacle. So the show itself, while excellent, doesn’t exceed expectations, which is the key to WOM marketing.

So, what do they do? At the show’s end, the magicians run up the centre aisle of the theatre and wait in the foyer to greet their fans.

They take photos with their fans, shake their hands and answer questions. Each night 200 people leave with a story to tell. As a result, Penn & Teller are the longest-running headline act in Vegas history!

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WOM strategies are used worldwide.

Here are some more ideas that might inspire you in your business:

  • Make tea or coffee for people who come to your office
  • Give away samples
  • Monthly prize draws 
  • Giving away branded merchandise
  • Send birthday or holiday cards to customers

The list goes on! It doesn’t need to be a big, elaborate strategy. You need something small, thoughtful and worth talking about, and you can build your referral strategy around it.

Often the simple ideas are the best. 

There is so much focus on paid advertising – and a level of imitation when it comes to marketing. However, sometimes, the most original, creative and straightforward ideas generate the most referrals.

Referral strategies don’t have to cost a pretty penny. They don’t have to be fancy, and they don’t need to be hard to execute. Just add a little ‘extra’ to your service, and you’ll have a happier customer willing to tell a story about you! 

Understand what your customers expect from you as a baseline, and then think about how you can exceed those expectations with something they will find valuable.

Don’t be afraid to do something different. Give your customers a story to tell, and they will do your marketing for you!


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