Word of mouth. By engaging the community. Your community. It is no longer the era of push marketing. It is now about collaborating, interacting and engaging. Consumers are savvy, well-informed today. They have options. They have fast, effective ways to voice their opinions about those options. Faster than you can say, "Don't press send!!"
In today's marketing world, there is no better tool than engagement. It allures them. Interests them. Entices them. To you.
How? Through every one of their senses. Through every touchpoint of their experience with your business.
For instance, when they arrive at your website - is it appealing? Easy to navigate? Smooth transaction process? Is it simple, straightforward, yet informative?
When they call...do your employees answer the phone in a consistent, friendly manner? How helpful are they? Are they willing to go above and beyond without the customer feeling like a burden?
If you are a restaurant, it's not just about the food and beverage. How clean is your restuarant? Is every seat comfortable? How are customers greeted?
Whew, you may be thinking this will be a major undertaking. Maybe an advertisement is fine for now. Stop the press. Here are some tips:
- Have all senses engaged. View the entire shopping/buying process through your customer's eyes. Even a slight, off-putting smell could have an effect on someone's opinion of your business. Is the background music too loud? Does it make you want to fall asleep or climb the walls? What will put their mind at ease?
- Gain customer insight. Ask them. Listen closely. Take their complaints seriously and look into a better solution.
- Admit that you don't know everything. You may have to consider partnering with an expert. Either as a business partnership or as a mentor. Take for instance Little Tykes. They know kids playsets, don't they? But they don't fully understand children's disabilities or impairments. They want all kids to have a safe, fun time on their sets. So they partnered with St. Louis Children's Hospital to learn more about possible physical disabilities and how they can make their playsets fun for all. Because EVERY customer is special and deserves an opinion.
- Consider all stakeholders. Vendors, distributors...all that have a direct or indirect effect on the customer experience. Maybe they need to do something differently or better. Maybe a process or communication could be improved.
- Everyone needs to get on board. Every. One. Everyone needs to be aligned and take ownership of their process and how it could improve the customer experience. Be a team member. Then it's your job to keep them on board.
Customers will surely fall in love with you. They will become brand advocates and share that love. And you'll be saying "Send away!"
Just came across this article on LinkedIn that is a great supplement to this post. Listening and engaging is key! Would You Buy From Your Company?