Do your customers recommend you?

customers recommendation, word of moutn

If not, what psychological strategies would make them share their positive experiences with others? Listen to suggestions from Christian Wheeler, professor of marketing at Stanford:

Word of mouth is the best advertising we can get. So getting your customers to advocate for your business is fundamental. Sometimes you don’t need to do anything but applying the psychological strategies outlined by professor Wheeler might still be a good idea.

Have personally found that another way of making customers really happy is to follow in Apple’s footsteps and call customers to make sure they are really happy and content. Discontent clients are not likely to recommend you. On the contrary.

After watching the video you may have found some answers?
After watching the video you may have some new strategies?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do your customers recommend you? If so, have you any idea why? If not, why don’t they? Have you ever tried the psychological strategies outlined in the video? If so, what results did you get? Do you agree that word of mouth is the best advertising  a business can get? If not, what in your opinion is better?

Video: Stanford Graduate School of Business – Picture: Mr Hicks46

56 thoughts on “Do your customers recommend you?

  1. Great video and article too Catarina. The industry that comes to mind right away is real estate. I have a few friends that have built an entire career on referrals…it’s practically all they do. One is buying and selling to children of his original clients! For some reason, this seems to be a profession where people are willing to share their opinions…maybe because buying a home is an emotional thing.

  2. Author of From Confusion To Clarity: Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less and Poetry For Living An Inspired Life: Poems as Spiritual Meditation says:

    Yes, I do believe word of mouth is the best advertising particularly if you know the person and know that they tend to have stable convictions with regard to their preferences. Everywhere we go these days, we are asked to evaluate (rate) the services we receive. This is a form of word of mouth advertising, like book reviews for example. I believe this is the same as word of mouth advertising.

    1. Glad you agree with me. Yes book reviews are "kind of" like word of mouth. But to have the same impact they have to be written by someone we know or at least trust. Don't you trust a friend of yours more than a review you find online?

  3. I think that comes in the form of book reviews for a writer. There’s no way to control them so much as you enjoy a five star you have to be prepared for a one star too. Bad review often come from readers who often read other genres. Making sure my book cover clearly indicates what the reader can expect is key. With my first chocolate mystery some readers thought they were buying a cookbook. With the second I changed the title from A Christmas Wedding To Remember to A Christmas Wedding To Die For and added a blood splatter with the number two. I didn’t want anyone thinking they were buying a sweet romance rather than a cozy mystery.

    1. Book reviews are a form of word of mouth, Pat. But don't you trust a friend of yours more than a review? Unless of course you know, or at least trust, the person who writes the review.

  4. There's no question that word of mouth is the best form of advertising, Catarina – it can also, of course, be the worst if you get things wrong… Social media allows companies to not only reach the widest audience, but also allows this audience to express its opinions on your business to the world-at-large.

    People share both positive and negative opinions, although most are more likely to share negative ones, so 'listening' on all possible channels for such negative opinions is critical. And when you do come across one, it's crucial to react quickly and openly to address it.

    The interesting thing here is that people who have experienced a problem with a brand that is resolved quickly and effectively are much more likely to become outspoken advocates for that brand than people who have never experienced a problem.

    I don't suggest you deliberately create problems for your customers so you can fix them, but I do most strongly suggest you fix them very quickly when they occur – you'll get many more recommendations that way!

    1. Spot on, Guy. Solving or compensating an unhappy client is part of the concept of calling them to make sure they are happy. If they are not the issue has to be resolved swiftly, as you say.

  5. It's essential to have word of mouth recommendation otherwise your business will never go anywhere. which is why customer service is key. Especially now, when people can look up on yelp and be instantly effected by a bad review and just move on to another supplier.

  6. It was nice video Catarina.
    I have never asked anyone to recommend me nor I am in any kind of business. But I have recommended just one person in my life and I am happy she asked me for that.
    Word of mouth is very important in advertisement and we see both positive and negative effects by this as many from across the world give there ideas and opinion about everything.
    Sometimes we see negative propaganda from one company ( brand) against others to distort image and break customers.
    (Between I sometimes share your blog with my friends in Pakistan but videos are mostly from youtube and youtube is blocked in Pakistan. People from Pak can not watch the video. I have also seen few of your followers from Pakistan , means most of them can not see video some use ways to overcome this problem but not all of them. )

    1. Glad you believe in word of mouth, Andleeb. I have no idea how many followers I have in Pakistan. But quite a few Pakistanis send have sent me invitations on Linkedin that I have accepted.

  7. I am happy to say that my clients usually do give me good reviews and recommendations. When I started and ran my own flight school, word-of-mouth was crucial. Because I had a good reputation and had turned out a lot of excellent pilots, I got fine testimonials when I asked for them. I shudder to think if I had done poorly and then had to try to change people’s opinions. Of course flying is potentially dangerous and so I don’t think I would have been given a second chance. Nor should I if I were so careless as to teach poorly or allow my employed pilots to do so.

  8. I am definitely in agreement about the value of word of mouth It is what the promise of social media is all about for marketers. If you can replace commercial messaging with endorsements from trusted sources, ie your friends and connections on social networks, you will be more successful. It hasn't worked out to be quite that simple but the underlying concept is valid.

  9. Hi Catarina – I totally agree that word of mouth advertising by family or friends is best. I always believed customer service – which of course meant providing every customer with the best personalized service – was the most important thing any business could offer. If you’re successful there, the recommendations naturally follow.

  10. What a great reminder, Catarina! WOM is a powerful tool to build your business and it takes focus and dedication to get this form of marketing working for you – no different from any other type of marketing. Breaking through the clutter takes skill. Motivating people to share our business takes skill. That means consistent practice.
    My recent post Are You Inside Out?

    1. Thank you, Sue. Glad you like it and agree about word of mouth. Love how you Americans always come up with abbriviations. Sometimes it's hard to discover what they stand for for 96 percent of the worlds population i.e. those of us who are not Americans:-)

  11. Over my 30+ years in business I've tried various ways of asking for referrals, and all effective. Sometimes it's actually been in advance of delivering my work, eg, "If this workshop gets a rating of 9+ by your audience, can you refer me to 2 of your colleagues at other businesses?" That was the most uncomfortable way of asking for me! But it garnered business. By far the best way for me was to ask for a referral through a "referral reward" program after delivering coaching services. Another success. But also, just left to work on it's own, my business grew mainly through referrals.

    Good video with different ideas. Thanks Catarina.
    My recent post What if Introverts Didn’t Have to Compete with Extroverts?

  12. Word of mouth may not create the largest net however it does create the greatest sense of trust as people have another person personally recommending you or a product. This may be changing with younger generations so engrossed in social media however I have my doubts. The personal touch is always the best.
    My recent post Living in the Indies

    1. If your best friend advice you to buy something wouldn't you pay more attention to that than if you read a recommendation online, Tim. Personally am sure word of mouth in real life is by far more effective. By the way, if someone recommends a friend to buy a new nuclear plant from a certain company it will generate a huge income for the company:-)

  13. The comment about word of mouth is so true. I think sometimes the bigger corporations think that they are on a fishing trip. They try to catch as many possible customers, without concentrating on the individual. They target their advertising on the mass population, hoping to snag as many as possible. They forget that one person, is as important as a 1,000, maybe not in money spent, but certainly in their opinion. If a person takes the time to tell someone else about their product, you better make sure it is something nice.

  14. I've found one of the best ways to get recommendations is not only through asking (amazing what a please and thank you will get ya) but also through exit surveys. I keep em short, brief and incredibly useful so I have testimonials on the website. Sure, it's a bit of a self-selecting sample and no recommendation is perfect, but it helps me do better business AND it allows future clients to hear what past clients have said.
    My recent post 5 Tips on How to Actually be Authentic

  15. Word of mouth is an important way to grow business. Social media is changing how word of mouth happens and people are increasingly looking to trusted online friends and acquaintances for recommendations. Businesses should encourage customers to refer others to them. Incentives may help, but a simple reminder is good too. I am less likely to trust a recommendation if I know the person gains something by directing my business that way.

    1. Absolutely, word of mouth is the best way to get new customers. Social media has some impact in this respect. But who would you trust most, a close friend in real life or an online friend?

  16. Good video. Word of mouth is such a valuable way to get your message out, in fact, no campaign is as effective as it could be without it. Asking customers what they would like is also a great way to engage and stay innovative.

  17. I agree with what someone else said as far as asking for recommendations or referrals. It is easy to assume that some will just naturally pass on your name to others if they are happy with you. And that will work some of the time. But people are often absorbed in their own life and will overlook doing this, even if they are happy with you. So if your instinct says that this person has had a good experience, it is in your best interest to mention that they can pass your name along to anyone else looking for your services.

  18. Sharing is indeed a very important concept in today's world of marketing, Catarina. We rely on readers sharing our content, and customers sharing a recommendation by word of mouth. I think that delivering a quality product with high integrity encourages others to want to tell the world about us. If that wasn't the case, sites like Trip Advisor would be non-existent.
    My recent post increasing your chocolate knowledge

    1. Don't you think sharing on social media is inferior to word of mouth in real life, Doreen? Wouldn't you pay more attention to what a friend of yours in real life recommends than a social media connection?

  19. Recommendations from clients/customers goes a long way. Reputation really is everything. I check customer reviews for nearly everything – restaurants, gadgets, holidays. They rarely let me down.

  20. These is another great post about how business, or any other organization, should treat its customers. The best way to get others to recommend you, is to put out a good product, and treat your customers with respect. Too many companies ignore both steps, they almost have an attitude that they are doing their customer a favor by providing a product for them to buy.
    If you want customers to recommend you by word of mouth, then treat them civilly and they in turn will pass how they are treated to others.

    1. That goes without saying, William. But if you do have a good product and treat your customers very well, how do you get them to recommend you? Most people don't even think about doing that so finding a way to make that happen is a good idea.

  21. I work in the B2B space where you have ongoing client relationships. One way to get clients to recommend you is to ask them. Usually they will ask you to write the letter for them, so get to craft what you want them to say. In the B2C space, you've got to keep up the quality of your products and your service so that your customer will recommend you by word of mouth.
    My recent post So-called “Soft Skills” in High Demand – for Now

    1. Absolutely, that's what I do the Apple way i.e. you ask them if they are one hundred percent satisfied with everything. If not, what would they like to improve. If they are really satisfied you ask them to recommend you if anything's not to their liking you compensate them.

  22. Liked the video, I like it when I come across information which widens my way of looking at the particular topic, Also will from now onwards look ahead of having timely conversations or contact with the existing Clients. Thanks for sharing!

    1. My pleasure. Once you have made sure clients are really happy with everything you can find a way of asking them to recommend you. If they are unhappy with some aspect compensate them in some way and then you will in time be able to ask for a recommendation. The latter just takes a bit longer.

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