We’ve all heard about word of mouth marketing and how valuable it can be. Because word of mouth marketing is a relatively free but highly profitable way to attract new business, it has become a Holy Grail of sorts in marketing. With several small businesses pumping hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars into various marketing efforts, getting a word of mouth customer means you are doing a lot of things right for your business. Below is a 5 step process to improve what your customers say about you:

  1. Customer Service Working with small businesses for the last 10 years, I’ve come across a range of different business owners. In that time, I’ve taken note of one consistent theme that truly successful business owners practice; The way they speak to their customers. Your customers want to work with people they like. They respond well to happy cheerful business owners. Smile when you answer the phone and when you talk to your customers. Thank them for considering your business and treat them like family.
  1. Respect Your Customer Remember without these customers you do not have a business. Respect their time, respect their homes. Arrive on time and make sure you are clean when you enter their home. If you leave the house dirtier than you entered, then you will more than likely lose that customer’s future business and any chance of promoting your business through word of mouth.  Let the customer know who will be coming to their homes. Help them feel at ease about having a stranger in their house. Be honest with your price and service. If anything changes make sure to let the customer know and explain why the price or service will change.
  1. Top Notch Service The key is to wow the customer, the more you can do this, the better your relationship will be and the better your chances of being referred to friends and family.  Over communicate what you will be doing for them and what it will cost them. Your goal is to help your customers, not rip them off. Give them something for free. Simple advice or a service add-on on the house. This goes such a long way in building the trust that drives both word of mouth and long term customer loyalty.
  1. Keep it Simple We live in a digital word. People use their smartphone as an extension of themselves. The entire process should be seamless and painless. Paperless invoices make it easier for both you and your customer to keep detailed records of what has been done. Not everyone has a checkbook or cash handy. Open up your payment methods to credit cards as well as online payments.
  1. Follow-Up Engagement Your customers have so much on their plate. Next time they need your service they will more than likely forget who you are or what you did. Staying in touch with them through monthly and quarterly emails as well as service reminders is the icing on the cake. The more you can make the customer feel that you are watching out for them, the more they will trust you and spread the word to their friends and family.