I think everyone knows that customer word-of-mouth is the best possible marketing (or the worst possible marketing if you deliver less-than-excellent service).
All of us are in business and all of our businesses have (great, of course!) reputations. How can we use that to generate more business for ourselves?
So we asked Aaron Weiche. Aaron was our keynote speaker at our open house on May 22, 2018 where he'll discuss reputation management.
Here's a sneak peek of what you'll here from Aaron, including why you should manage your reputation and a few tips to corral positive word-of-mouth for your benefit.
Q:Why should a business take reputation management seriously today (and any examples of online “word-of-mouth” hurting a business)?
Weiche: Reputation has become a key differentiator for consumers in making purchasing decisions. Recent studies* showed that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With 97% consumers looking for local businesses online via search and Google’s search results packed with online reviews and reputation content, you need to first develop and then manage your online reputation. The same study noted that 40% of consumers choose not to use a business after reading negative reviews.
Q:Other than the obvious – provide great product/service – what's one thing a company can do to get a 5-star review for their business?
Weiche: The difficult "one thing" is to make your business buy into a culture of customer feedback. That takes process, education, and buy in from top to bottom of the company. An easier “one thing” is to become proactive and start asking your customers for feedback and online reviews, don’t just wait for them to happen.
Q:You have a good analogy about online reviews and farming – can you explain that?
Weiche: I’ll share the exact quote I use in my presentation, but the focus is that reputation is like growing crops. You have to prepare the soil, plant the seed, water it, weed it, and pay attention to get it to harvest. Online reputation isn’t a quick fix or tactic, it’s a business process that needs to be viewed as a lifetime endeavor and not just a goal for Q3 this year.
Q:Can you give an example of a customer experience you had recently that got you jazzed?
Weiche: I was in Fort Collins, CO last week and got to visit the brewery of one of my favorite brewers, Odell Brewery. While I already loved a few of their beers, the tap room staff was amazing at asking questions on my likes and dislikes, then pairing me with some new great beers to try.
It was super busy there but they were so attentive I thought I might be the only person there. When I bought a pint glass and a few t-shirts they asked if I was traveling with the glass and then wrapped it up extra secure to fly home. My whole 2 hours there made me think “no wonder I love their beer, they pay attention and care about every detail. It’s part of the DNA there.”
I think that’s what every business should be striving for.