Word of Mouth

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by RedRobin, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. RedRobin

    RedRobin New Member

    I am a oldfashioned girl. I believe that if you offer a good product at a reasonable price, word will get around. This type of advertising takes a while, so patience is neccessary. However, sometimes the good word about you will spread quickly.

    To get the good word out about your project or business, first offer the best product you can. Create a resume that displays your finest points. Think like the boss, or the customer. If you were looking for someone to help you in your business, what talents would you like that person to have? Skills like doing the job on time can count for a lot. If you can earn feedback or references that prove you have a skill, even better. If you have an online business, like a store on eBay, and you have excellent feedback, customers will choose your
    services or products before they choose items from another store with lower feedback. If you are working for an employment company like Guru, your feedback is the best advertising you can have.

    Once you get that first job or sale, you will get return business or word of mouth business if your customer service is excellent. Communicate with the people you are working for. Let them know accurately when their product will arrive. Or be sure to finish the project ahead of time. Figure out a way to go above and beyond. If it only costs a few cents more to send the customer's package out using a faster method, go for it. The customer will be happy that you put forth that extra effort, and may very well be a repeat customer or tell a friend about your products. Your business will grow before you know it! Plus, it feels good to be honest and kind to others, while making money at the same time.

    Analyze what services you can do or offer honestly. Can you do the job you are offered? Can you learn what to do? Can you get the product your customer wants? Can you honestly list the features of the product, without minimizing or over selling it? One of the best qualities of my eBay store is my accurate descriptions. If your antique item has a chip or crack, be honest about it, and describe it as accurately as you can. That way, your customers will know exactly what they are getting with no unpleasant surprises. That type of feedback is better than any kind of advertising you can buy.

    Customer service is the best advertising around. In this day of mega stores, where no or very little help is offered to a shopper, be sure your Internet service offers the best customer service available. The word will get around, and you will have plenty of happy customers, as well as a satisfied feeling personally.

    Robin
     
  2. skywriteing

    skywriteing New Member

    By "oldfashioned girl" I going to assume you mean out of business or broke. There is a rare business you can operate today folowing those principles. It certainly is true that America was founded on those principals.

    But the "old-days" where operating under different circumstances. Namely....a shortage. A shortage of LOTS of goods and services. We NOW are operating in competition with people with people who will provide your "goods" or "services" at 1/3 of your minimum wage.

    So the answer is to find out EXACTLY what people want and give it to them.

    Otherwise, if your going to sell Blue Jeans or a cola drink or a hamburger or a cell phone......you need to do marketing.

    In fact, marketing is the only thing you should be doing. Many people will supply what you want to sell or make or do.

    "Getting the message out" is a full time job.

    The reason I know this is I consult with "old-fasioned" small business owners. They are going broke with customer service worries and loosing money because they are working themselves ragged for their remaining customers.

    - Chuck
    USBison Consulting.





    Yes, I sell jerky.
     
  3. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    Two very excellent posts with opposing points of view. Each is valid. Yet by themselves, neither of these approaches is complete.

    Robin's reliance on providing a good product at a fair price, supported by great customer service, is an old-fashioned value that has proven to be effective.

    Chuck's insistence that marketing -- getting the word out -- is the only thing you should be doing, reflects the attitude of today's successful, pro-active marketer.

    If your promotional strategy is limited to word of mouth about your excellent product, great price and first-class customer service, it could take a very long time to stir up enough interest in your business, to keep you in business.

    You could go broke in the meantime.

    On the other hand, if you've got a fantastic marketing strategy that delivers throngs of customers to your business, but your product is inferior, overpriced and customer service is poor, word of mouth will eventually sink your business.

    The ideal solution incorporates both approaches.

    You should use as many marketing approaches as possible to create interest in your product and get people to investigate your business. When they become customers and can vouch for your product, price and support, they will naturally spread the word.

    This will suppliment and perpetuate your marketing efforts.

    Hermas
     
  4. WhitePhoenix

    WhitePhoenix New Member

    Very nice post, Hermas... and very interesting reads from Robin and Chuck as well.

    What Robin said is very true. I have been reading many of her posts and she seems to be very aware of her strengths in marketing and promotion. And I agree with her approach. But why should great customer service be termed as old fashioned?

    That 'old fashioned' approach is, I believe, so very important in encouraging a customer's return. Sure, like Hermas said, Chuck has a point as well.

    The greatest product in the world won't sell if your seller is rude, unwilling to compromise or does not return queries promptly and politely.

    I always try to put myself in the buyer's shoes. Whether I'm purchasing a product in a store or online, the most important thing to me is the attitude of the person selling the product. I have been known to overpay for an item, only because I am very pleased with the seller's demeanor and or guarantee and effort to please me. Then, it's worth it. I've found a great product AND a reliable source that I know I can return to if there's a problem.
     
  5. Hey guys,
    Great conversation.

    I have just engaged Verizon as my DSL server. The reason I bring that up is Most of the time when I call regarding their foul-up in shipping the proper equipment I get a recording.

    When I persist long enough, I actually get to talk to a Real Person. If you have ever dealt with the run around (press 1, press 2) then you know that when you deal with a company that big, customer service is Not all that Good.

    Their advertising is pervasive, but effective (I signed up). But, you have to deal with an individual in order to get Any type of satisfaction. I almost have the equipment problem solved, by talking to someone from customer service.

    So, I think the Moral of the Story is you need BOTH approaches, Marketing and Customer Service in order to Get and Keep Customers.

    Just my $.02 worth.
    Joe
     
  6. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Quoting: mcbsconsultingSo, I think the Moral of the Story is you need BOTH approaches, Marketing and Customer Service in order to Get and Keep Customers.

    Absolutely! Empires are not built on just marketing alone. It's the after sales service that matters most. The reason some big corporations fail to survive is they seem to concentrate entirely on the marketing aspect and completely neglect the customer service aspect.

    A good example is the state of government telecom services in India. After the advent of private players who concentrate heavily on customer service, in addition to marketing, government telecom services are running into losses and trying everything to woo the customers back.

    I for sure, as a customer, would rate the way my service provider treats me as the #1 deciding factor to continue as their customer. If their service is not good, no matter how good the service, I wouldn't stay as their customer.
     
  7. coreyjroman

    coreyjroman Silver Member

    Just thought I would bring this one back to life with a word or 2... Anyone who has done work as a commodities broker (not stocks and bonds ...but goods) knows that as chuck put it:

    Quoting: skywriteingSo the answer is to find out EXACTLY what people want and give it to them.

    The key to selling in a brokers market is to shop for demand and fill the need. But this is not true sales. Sales expertise is needed when there is a lack of demand for something and a surplus of commodities. Then you go old-school and through old fashioned one on one marketing skills you convince people that they can't live without your product thereby creating a demand. The first 2 posts are not opposing but 2 different approaches to marketing...
    the first is demand for supply and the second is supply for demand.
     
  8. The key to effective marketing is building trust and working with an existing customer base that already knows you and trusts you. You must never allow trust to be lost. That must become part of the way you think and behave.

    Causing customers to "rave" about you is absolutely the number 1, best marketing vehicle you can use to carry your business to success.

    But pay special attention to what White Pheonix and Vishal wrote:

    "I have been known to overpay for an item, only because I am very pleased with the seller's demeanor and or guarantee and effort to please me. Then, it's worth it. I've found a great product AND a reliable source that I know I can return to if there's a problem. "


    and


    "I for sure, as a customer, would rate the way my service provider treats me as the #1 deciding factor to continue as their customer. If their service is not good, no matter how good the service, I wouldn't stay as their customer. "

    Neither would I!

    Would you?!

    Solving the marketing enigma has alot more to do with relating to people on their level.

    Ofcourse there are some kinds of customers that are a pain in the neck.

    I fire them!

    Don't do business with everyone. Just with the people who fit your marketing profile. If they don't fit your standards, don't waste your time with them.

    If most of your customers are problematic though, then re-evaluate the way you're attracting them, or the approach you're using in dealing with them.

    Sometimes the problem may have more to do with you, than with them.

    If that's the case, you need to identify your weak points and locate the origin of the problem - why you're attracting lower class customers, as opposed to less problematic ones.
     
  9. arunkumarsuri

    arunkumarsuri New Member

    I fully agree with Vishal. The government telecom service in India has improved a lot recently. Without proper after sale service people are bound to change the service provider. I bought my computer from one but not satisfied with the service I took the service contract from another shop. Many merchants lose customers because they do not give much importance to after sale service which can be a good source of income.
     
  10. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    A good book to read about marketing - which is about applying current markething methods is called,

    "Why Cold Calling Is Dead", by Frank Rumbauskas

    It does, of course, fly in the face of traditional marketing and sales methods, but its a good read, regardless of which point of view you agree with in this forum post.
     
  11. nilanthika

    nilanthika New Member

    Has anyone out there heard about WideCircles.com. It seems like a way better service then regular pay per click. Apparently they are using refering websites ( forums, blogs, wiki, etc. ) and have a viral word of mouth distributed approach to it which is engaging rather ther then interrupting customers. My friend told me he got over 500 visits from single post which cost him around $0.40c, within a few days. I am going to give them a try today . In case you are intrested here is it. [Link removed - Admin]
     

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