Promoting your business is a continuous job that often requires a great deal of creative energy, time, and money. However, it is important to keep in mind that you have a wonderful resource in your clientele; your clients can not only promote your business for free, but their stories are often more meaningful and effective than any marketing strategy or sales incentive. The following is a list of ways to get your best customers to promote your business.
- Create excellent products/services your customers need. Without this basic tenet of sound business practice, any of your efforts to promote your business via customers will be meaningless. You should strive for the utmost quality in your products and services, as well as in your customers’ experience patronizing your business. This will lay the foundation for satisfied clients who want to spread the word about your business to anyone who will listen. Would you recommend to a friend a restaurant whose food and service was not up to par? Of course not! But if you had eaten one of the most delicious meals imaginable and your server was attentive, you’d be telling everyone you know to eat there as soon as possible.
- Give clients what they want so they get excited about sharing their experiences with others. Once you’ve made sure you have quality products and excellent customer service, the next step is to find out what clients want that you may be lacking. When you can deliver on a customer demand, your chances of customer promotion are even greater. For example, listen carefully and take to heart when a customer asks you a question such as, “Do you carry a cleaning kit made specifically for this camera?” or “Where can I buy the conditioner you used on my hair? I love the way it smells!” When customers can get all their needs met while having a great experience, they will want to share that with others.
- Seek out a loyal customer with a good story to tell who is eager to share it with his or her network of friends. As happy as many customers may be with your products and how you conduct your business, most of the time, they won’t exactly volunteer to become informal spokespeople. Take the initiative to find a customer you know has a good story to share about his or her experience with your business. Ask the person to share the story with friends and family. If you’ve picked the right person, he or she will be happy to do so.
- Look for genuine stories that customers want to share; do not pay for testimonials. Paid testimonials are less meaningful to potential clients than authentic ones. Think about how many times you’ve read customer reviews on sites like Amazon or Yelp that have influenced your decision to buy a certain product or use a certain company. If you knew some of these reviews were paid for instead of written genuinely and voluntarily, it would most likely change your decision. Besides, if you are doing all the right things to satisfy your clients’ needs, you won’t need to pay for customer promotion anyway.
Don’t let your customer base remain an untapped resource. Authentic stories from satisfied and eager customers are more valuable than any paid advertisement. Strive for excellence so your customers will want to share these stories.
How do you get your customers to promote your business? Please share your comments below!