Tag: word of mouth

9 Levels of Word of Mouth

9 Levels of Word of Mouth

Last time we talked about the second part of word-of-mouth tactics which help you put together a system to help shorten your customers’ purchasing decision time, which can increase your profits immensely.

Today is not so much of a blog but a tool to evaluate where your word of mouth stands and how it affects your business. We’re going to talk about the nine levels of word-of-mouth which gives you a scale to measure the word-of-mouth circulating around your company, products, and services. You can then see where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.

So, launching into the nine levels of word-of-mouth, it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative, and the positive levels are positive. 

Word of Mouth Scale

Minus 4-Death Blow

This is the worst of the worst and means your product or service is creating a scandal. Remember when the popular over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol, were deemed unsafe? Yea, you won’t want that kind of word of mouth.

If this is where you are, it is most likely a death blow for your business and you have most likely done something very wrong. 

Minus 3-Karen is Out for Blood

Disgruntled customers are going out of their way to convince other consumers from purchasing your products and services. They are boycotting you. 

They are actively making a seen, leaving bad reviews, making their tik toks. In some respect, this can be the worst place to be. Karen does not allow you to have a minute to respond and fix the problem. 

Minus 2-Unacceptable and Unhappy

While not outwardly boycotting, when customers are asked about you, they will give a negative response. They will take the time to leave a Yelp or Google review and most likely leave it at that. 

Minus 1-Solvable 

At this level, people are mildly dissatisfied, and while not outwardly talking about it, they will have an opinion if asked. Now they may purchase from you despite their negative feelings; this can be a little confusing. 

These people may stick with you because it is easy or the pain is not enough to change. It is important to spend time giving them a better experience.

Level 0-Neutral 

This is sort of a neutral place to be. Customers are using your products, but don’t really talk about it. People rarely ask them about it, so they aren’t sharing their opinion with others. This can be a slippery slope because you don’t want to turn that neutral experience into a negative one. You should work to make it a positive one.

Plus 1-Satisfied 

At this level, we are finally starting to work our way into the positive word-of-mouth about your company, products, and services. Plus 1 signifies that people are generally pleased with your products, but unless asked, don’t really say anything about them.

Plus 2-Tip of the Tong Solution

When asked, your customers will talk about how much they love your products or service. They will be a person who says something like, “o I use …” or “consider trying …”. These people need to be prompted but once they have been you’re their go-to.

They may give a review but most likely need to be prompted before they will do it.

Plus 3-Have You Heard About

Customers will go out of their way to talk about your products, services, company, and shopping experience with you. This is most evident when you see how people recommend movies to their friends and family.

These people will leave an unprompted review and 5-star score. These tend to be your 7-9 net promoter scores.

Plus 4- Champion

Your product is the toast of the town. There is an obvious buzz going around, and your business is the place to be. People are not only talking about your great products and services, but they are talking about their shopping experience, your customer service, and how they perceive the company to help them in the future.

These are the people who do not only leave a review but also go out of their way to make a social media post. These are your 9-10 net promoter scores. 

Some great examples of Plus 4 companies are:

  • Lexus
  • Harley Davidson
  • Lululemon 
  • Tesla
  • Apple
  • Costco

 

We’re going to leave this lesson for you to mull over and take a look at what kind of word of mouth you are generating. If you need help with this process, try our FREE test drive to get help from our experienced business coaches.

Next ti, we will talk about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.

Get People to Talk About You The Way You Want

Get People to Talk About You The Way You Want

In the last post, we started our series on word of mouth and talked about making your customers purchasing experience a short, easy one. We are going to continue with that theme a bit today. We will talk about the power of word of mouth and how to mold it to your advantage.

The reality is everyone needs an advisor to guide them to make a decision. We rely on the expertise of others to make the right decisions as they are explained to us. When you take the time to understand exactly what and how word of mouth works, you’ll see all the great advantages it has to offer you. Remember this path when working to understand word of mouth:

  • Accelerate the decision-making process for increased profits.
  • You can accelerate product-making decisions by making the process easier. For example, try delivering on your word-of-mouth promises instead of low-ball advertising and the used car salesman approach.

Traditional advertising draws about one response for every thousand ads, and most of those are to ask for more information before the customer even considers purchasing. When you get information from a friend, you are more likely to take their word for it and act. On average, customers purchase two out of every five recommendations their friends make. That’s a HUGE difference.

So, what exactly is word of mouth? We know how powerful it can be, but to define it: Word of mouth is a communication between a customer and a potential customer. There is usually a relationship of some kind between these two people with an established level of trust. 

Now, compare this to advertising where you are providing a message to a potential customer who has not established a relationship with you or level of trust. Who are they more likely to take advice from? The answer is clear!
We talked above about the benefits of word of mouth now; let’s take a look at some reasons why it works. Some of these are:

  • The information is custom-tailored to the potential customer because of the friendly relationship of the referrer.
  • It’s more personal, relevant, and believable.
  • It’s customer-driven.
  • It’s self-generating and can take on a life of its own, especially with the information age of the Internet.
  • It becomes part of the product’s description.
  • The source of word of mouth can be meaningful and more effective when coming from an expert.
  • Word of mouth saves you time and money. 

To fully utilize word of mouth, you need to understand:

  1. Where is your word of mouth coming from?
  2. What products or services are being affected by word of mouth?
  3. How is your word of mouth traveling?

Once you know these things, you can work out a plan to trigger more word of mouth. This wraps up this lesson on word of mouth. If you need help understanding word of mouth and how it can impact your business, try our FREE test drive to access our wealth of resources and tools.

Next time we’re going to dive into the nine levels of word of mouth. These levels help you understand which word of mouth is positive and which is not.

Are People Talking About You the Way You Want?

Are People Talking About You the Way You Want?

Take Control of Your Word of Mouth

It is time to start a new series, all about Word of Mouth and how it can make or break your business in an extremely short amount of time. In this first lesson, we’ll explore exactly what word of mouth is and give you a chance to know if you’re using it correctly. 

Word of Mouth is easily the most powerful form of marketing and is absolutely free. People talk about ads they see, experiences they have, and the products they purchase. So if you treat people right and spread the word about your new products/services in a positive way, you’ll attract the right customers and clients who will sustain your business for a long time. 

Now, as positive as word of mouth can be for your business, the other side of the coin is how negative it can be as well. Unfortunately, bad news seems invariable to travel faster than good news. If you have a less than high-quality product or weak customer service system, then your customers will tell everyone they know not to buy your products and services.

The age of technology has proved to be an amazing benefit in the world of word of mouth. With blogs, podcasts, online marketing, forums, social networking, and other online mediums available, it is easier and easier for consumers to share their experiences. And remember this is all free advertising for you. 

Shorten Customer Decision Cycle

The decision cycle or more commonly known as your sales cycle. This is your first opportunity to influence your client experience. There are three great ways to shorten & streamline your IAC decision cycle, plus they have the added benefit of impacting your revenue. They are:

  • Decision Speed
  • Friction & Stress Reduction
  • Operational Flexibility

Decision Speed

Let’s take a deeper look at decision speed. Offer simplicity, ease, and a fun purchasing atmosphere, and you’ll help your customers make their decisions quicker and more confidently. When this happens, your customers will buy more frequently, spend more money than usual, refer friends, and decided to purchase more quickly. This can raise your market share by over 100 times.

The time it takes your customer to decide and purchase far outweighs any other component of marketing. When you focus on customer decision speed it forces you to take a hard look at your company and brand image, positioning, value, customer service, guarantees, and product quality.

Friction & Stress Reduction 

The next area I want to talk about quickly is how to minimize the friction or stress involved with decision-making. No matter how easily people find decision-making there is a certain amount of anxiety we all experience when making a purchase, especially from a new source or for a large amount of money. When you help to minimize this emotional response, you will soothe your customers’ anxiety and they will make their decision quicker and more confidently.

There are a few secrets to accelerate the customer’s decision making progress:

  • Your benefits, features, claims, and promises must be obvious, clear, and concise.
  • The information you offer must be complete, easy to understand, credible, and balanced.
  • Use comparisons that show a marked difference.
  • Your guarantees must be rock solid and more than the customer expects.
  • Make trial periods easy.
  • You must have simple evaluations of your products or services.
  • Testimonials need to be relevant and positive.
  • Your support, delivery, and other operational systems must be perfect.

Your website can be as good as you make it. You can offer more than information; you can offer an experience that guides your customers gently through the decision-making process to make it easy for them to buy. Take it a step beyond by offering toll-free support numbers, software downloads to help with the process, or other classy and informative ways to reassure your customers that you are there with them every step of the way and have nothing to hide.

Operational Flexibility 

The final area to explore is the customer journey. This might be the most important piece of any marketing strategy. A customer journey is the ideal touchpoints and behaviors you want to see your customers exhibit. A great customer journey has the following components:

  • A mapped out experience from prospect to fulfilled happy customer
  • Clear explanation of business action (items you put out in the world) and response (the action you want your customers to exhibit
  • The expectation of employees and responsibilities at each stage 
  • Training on your staff should implement these experiences

Now here is where the flexibility comes in, a great liner plan like a customer journey is an ideal experience. This means you need to empower your employees to be able to make edits, changes, skip steps, expand steps, etc to get to the finished product which is a repeat customer singing your praises to everyone they meet.

This wraps up the first post in our series on word of mouth. If you need help identifying your target market and the issues they run into that lengthen their purchasing experience, complete our One Thing survey and get an implementable solution within 48 business hours. 

Next time we’ll move forward with word of mouth and talk about the power of word of mouth and what exactly this powerful tool is and can be used for.