Word of mouth (WOM) is the oldest form of advertising, public relations, and spreading information. In today’s world, word of mouth has added great reach, deep dimension, and lightning speed like never before. Just ask Tiger Woods, Penn State, Herman Cain, Bank of America, Apple, Lady Gaga, and Egypt.
I get most of my viral, real time news from social media. That’s how I learned about of the death of Michael Jackson and that Osama Bin Laden was killed. These are just some examples of how powerful the speed of word is today to spread both good and bad in a nanosecond. It can shape, change, and alter perceptions dramatically and indelibly.
But be very careful what you say and how you say it. Get really savvy about how to use it to your advantage and most importantly respect it. One sound bite from a Tweet, post, or video can be and is used every day by traditional and new media to shape our ideas about everything.
The bottom line is word of mouth remains the most effective way people learn about things, information, companies and the people who are behind them. It really can, as they say “make or break you,” and much, much faster than ever before.
The 2011 Pew Research Excellence in Journalism and Internet Statistics reported…
- 55% of all adults get local news and information via word of mouth once a week
- Adults 40+ prefer word of mouth for politics, government, housing , real estate
- Adults under 40 get news events primarily from word of mouth
Most of the job and career sites confirm that 80% of jobs right now are not posted on job boards – they are only accessible through networking, or word of mouth. Yep, people who know people who know people telling people about opportunities, or making referrals, or connections. A big change job searchers have had to embrace.
How do you and your business become the subject of and object of more of that “good” word of mouth, which builds brand leadership, establishes your credibility, and builds big buzz about you, what you do, and the great results you get?
Using Word Of Mouth To Boost Your Job Search
Here are five lynchpins of trusted, viral word of mouth that are common sense, timeless, and proven:
Build strong relationships with people based on a solid foundation, commonality, respect, and reciprocity.
Leverage, lead with and share results with your tribes and communities. Toot your own horn in a good way about the value and benefit you have brought to others.
Get referrals when you do great work and turn that into living testimonials that are your most powerful word of mouth tool. Success leads to success.
Getting recommendations created around the buzz of people are talking about you is priceless. Imagine having recommendations from people you may not actually know because someone they trust is talking about you!
Making customer retention a priority ensures longevity with those relationships you worked so hard to build. Don’t slack, don’t skimp, don’t cut corners, and don’t say no! Always find solutions, compromises, and ways to make things happen.
Here are some great reads from people who have built their success on stand out customer service:
- Customer Service-New Rules for a Social World by HARO’s Peter Shankman
- Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard
- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh from Zappos.com
Also, check out womma.org, the national word of mouth marketing organization.
Putting your customers first and setting them up for engagement, acknowledgement and reward will ensure consistent word of mouth and higher customer retention. It should be a priority. The higher, the more personalized and customized your customer service priority the more word of mouth you will get.
It’s a simple formula: more customer service = more word of mouth = more customer retention.
When your word of mouth makes you top of mind with people consistently saying “you must contact,” “the best person for that is,” or “I highly recommend” about you, then your word of mouth is working.
Word of mouth. Respect it, use it, put more emphasis on it and watch what happens!
What are the best word of mouth tactics that have worked for you?
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