When asked, most small business owners will tell you their best opportunities come from “Word-of-Mouth”. While I don’t disagree with the power of WOM, I object when they tell me they can’t control it, that is “just happens” Not True! Good WOM is a direct result of good customer service combined with savvy marketing.
I have always believed you earn the right to ask for WOM with the quality of your product, customer experience and service, but you have to ask for it. Encourage your clients to talk about you, refer you, and recommend you.
In a recent blog post Ben McConnel shared a different perspective on the origin of WOM. He argues WOM begins with the company culture. He says:
Companies with great word of mouth tend to operate by a simple, yet inspiring purpose and well-defined values. They have created a cultural constitution, and every employee is sworn to abide by it, so help them God and the HR department.
So what can you do to create a culture which will be a source of WOM. It begins with your people. McConnel suggests you should:
… hires smart and empathetic people who believe in the company’s culture and provide evidence of believing in its values
I think he is right. As a business owner I love what I do, and I surround myself with people who love it as well. Their enthusiasm for their jobs is contagious so the customers feel it. People tell me they enjoy stopping by, running into any member of the Roundpeg team at meetings and events, and just hanging out with us. As a result they are more likely to mention us to others!
WOM begins with you!