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When the television switches over to ads, do you watch them or get a snack? What about the radio station? A whopping 86% of consumers change the channel, mute the TV or skip ads, according to this report. So, how do you get through to your target customers?

Word of mouth (WOM) marketing is used every day by billions of consumers. Consumers discuss specific brands 90 times per week. Your customers are probably talking about your business right now!

Depending on the industry, WOM marketing is either one of your most utilized or underutilized tactics for growth. Competition is fierce and if you aren’t making the most out of every opportunity that presents itself, someone else will.

Fact #1: Customers trust their network. In fact, Nielsen reports that 92% of consumers trust the recommendations of family and friends.

Fact #2: Customers read and trust online reviews. This report found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Fact #3:  Businesses aren’t asking for reviews. Sadly, only 33% of businesses are asking their customers for reviews according to this report.

Finding new customers takes time and money. If you already have a believer, why not capitalize on brand loyalty? Here are three tips for ensuring customers have stellar experiences with your organization.

  1. Always deliver high quality. Whether your business sells falafel, healthcare or houses, make sure you are delivering the very best of your services or products.
  2. There is no “I” in team. Your team makes all the difference in the experience your customers have. That falafel can be quite tasty, but if the person taking the order is unfriendly, it is going to be hard to convince the customer to come back. Make sure your team is knowledgeable and friendly to every customer and goes above and beyond to make them feel welcome and appreciated.
  3. Handle mistakes with class. Mistakes happen in any business. It is how you manage the mistake that can be the kiss of death. Quickly respond and resolve any mishaps that occur. Ask the customer if they are satisfied with how you handled their concern. If they aren’t, determine if there is something else that should be done to make them happy. You won’t make everyone happy in life, but you can certainly try! It is the trying that matters.

If you want to build a successful WOM marketing program, you must make sure your customers are happy and ready to sing your praises to others. Once you have a tight operation that is running smoothly, consider implementing a referral program that rewards customers for recommending your business to others.

WOM marketing is one of the most effective and least costly ways to build a business. Take the time to develop and implement a solid program for your business and watch the referrals come streaming in.