Just last week, an attention-grabbing report landed on my desk. According to a new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, sponsored by Satmetrix, top marketing executives believe that good customer experiences and positive word-of-mouth (WOM) reporting can increase loyalty and brand value. As a matter of fact, 83 percent of respondents said it is either "essential" or "increasingly important" to have consumers as advocates.
Giving Customer Voice More Volume
The study, entitled "Giving Customer Voice More Volume," reveals that 38 percent of the 480 senior marketers surveyed say their companies have no programs to track or propagate positive WOM among customers. (What?!) The report also stated that a staggering 58 percent of marketing executives say that the Internet and social networks have changed customer expectations for their brand. However, only 14.5 percent track WOM on the Internet. (Are you kidding me?!)
Why aren't more businesses and sellers collecting customer testimonials?
This new economy has changed everything. We’re in a selling climate in which businesses and sellers are scrambling to maintain a competitive edge. Not tapping into and leveraging your customers' positive buying experiences can be a huge missed selling opportunity, especially when those customers are female.
Girl Talk Transforms Word-of-Mouth
Women—who make up the largest group of buyers—are natural-born networkers. WOM marketing goes hand-in-hand with networking, so when a woman finds a great resource, product, seller, and/or company, she often passes the information on to others.
In both her professional life and her personal life, a woman's deep-down motivation is to find ways to make life easier for others—as she wishes people would do for her. This is why a woman will often pass on information about your goods and services—she'll even include your name and contact details.
A woman's WOM endorsement is like money in the bank. And placing her two-thumbs-up comments throughout your marketing materials and sales conversations could drive up sales even more.
Tap Into Your Customer's WOM
Whether you work for a large company, own a small business or are an independent sales rep, there are so many ways to get a woman’s buying endorsement. You can call, send an e-mail, put a feedback box on your Web site, create a blog, join social networking communities, plus speak to her at social gatherings, at professional events and in networking groups. The point is, in this market, sellers must prove that their goods and services are a terrific investment for the money. Promoting the testimonials of satisfied clients could tip the sales in your favor.
It's time to build a community of satisfied customers. Once you collect your buyers' endorsements, and have permission to use them, insert the feedback into every form of marketing you can think of. And while you're at it, be sure to spread the positive recommendations throughout your sales conversations, too.
Build Your Brand and Business with WOM
At the end of the day, real-life testimonials and good-news success stories can have a greater impact on buyers than some of the tightest marketing hooks out there.
Research shows that 84 percent agree that positive customer experiences and WOM have helped their brands and businesses grow. So now it’s time to ask yourself, "Do I really know what my clients think of my products and/or services?" and, "Am I leveraging their feedback to the best of my ability?"
Kelly McCormick is an expert on how to OutSell Yourself™ with Women and to OutSell Yourself™ with All Buyers. She also writes a monthly column on women and sales for www.SalesandMarketingManagement.com. Her book, OutSell Yourself: How to Sell Without Selling, is soon to be released. You can get Kelly's sales, e-tips and information on her sessions, keynote talks and tele-classes at www.outsellyourself.com or by calling 800-889-9637.