Customers are the lifeblood of any business, especially in the services sector. Besides advertising, customer referrals greatly influence a consumer’s purchasing decision.
According to Nielsen’s 2021 Trust in Advertising survey, 88% of respondents globally trust recommendations from family and friends, the highest of any other channel. Comparatively, only half of those surveyed are swayed by paid digital advertising methods such as banner advertisements, search engine optimization (SEO) ads, and short messaging service (SMS) messages.
This is not to say, though, that companies must abandon other forms of marketing. Entities must explore all methods to present their value proposition and persuade clients that they’re the best. Keeping this in mind, here’s how business owners can nudge their customers to become brand advocates.
- Provide top-notch service
The highly competitive business environment demands that businesses provide clients with exceptional service. Meeting clients’ expectations is not enough.
Having the best business tools can help you achieve that and more. If you’re running a service business, consider this industry-specific software from Jobber that allows you to manage core tasks efficiently. As an integrated application, this app is meant for home contractors who want to take care of their booking, scheduling, monitoring, customer communication, and invoicing jobs under one roof.
Customized software can help businesses organize tasks and attend to client needs without hitches, making customers happy. Clients with strong positive feelings about your brand will likely recommend it to others.
Data from various sources curated by a brand marketing platform states that 74% of consumers, mostly millennials, identify word-of-mouth as the greatest influence on their purchasing decision. Moreover, most consumers claim to gain trust in a brand with two to six positive reviews.
- Ask them politely
In marketing, you can’t afford to be ambiguous. At the same time, you must know your clients well to use the right approach if you’re going to use this tack. Every purchase or transaction is often associated with an emotion. If you can exceed customers’ expectations, they’re more likely to return the favor by recommending your product or service to their friends and family.
At the end of each service, companies can send this customizable and free invoice template to bill their customers and ask them for a review. This professional-looking document comes in an error-free and simple format, so you don’t have to worry about your clients missing the message. Before sending it out, you can explain why you need to get the word out about your business.
According to an article published on Entrepreneur.com, word-of-mouth is one of the most trusted forms of advertising where customers share how and why they like a product or service. Reviews contain the client’s name, so their reputation is on the line whenever they make one. Hence, companies must give enough reason for clients to do so. Besides providing excellent customer service consistently, developing and nurturing good relations is a good start.
- Make it automatic in every transaction
Brands should make it easier for consumers to leave reviews. Besides integrating it on invoices and confirmatory emails, request customers to share their experience in every thank you message you send. Reach out to them through their business or personal social media account, or send them an SMS reminder with a link to your review page. You can make it easy for them to leave reviews by showing a template they can easily fill out.
Once they’ve published their reviews, take time to respond, whether you get a positive or negative rating. Thank your client for every glowing review, and handle negative criticisms well to create an impression that you value your customers’ feedback.
- Offer perks and deals
Giving additional perks for referrals may sound inappropriate, but certain brands have been using it to expand their client base. Regardless, it’s not illegal to offer incentives in exchange for reviews, and some companies use this strategy to help build their brand.
Establish a clear reward system and let your clients know what they can get for each referral. Encourage more recommendations by offering a tiered system, giving more perks and discounts as they get more additional customers. Ask your new customers for their online reviews to attract more buyers.
As you can attest, web reviews have become integral to every consumer’s purchasing decision. According to a survey, 89% read online reviews before buying a product or availing of a service. In addition, 79% of consumers say they view online reviews as personal recommendations, helping them gain trust in a brand. However, be careful in using this strategy, as users are suspicious of excellent reviews, seeing them as potentially fake or paid.
Contrary to real-life situations, praising oneself doesn’t always work in advertising. Businesses must employ different approaches to persuade more clients, such as those mentioned above. Providing impeccable service, developing good relations, and using the right methods is imperative for companies to gain more recommendations.