Word of Mouth is essentially free. However, there are mechanics that have to be in place to ensure that you customers are willing to give referrals to others that mostly come in the form of word of mouth.
The steps are as follows:
Acquiring the customer: this is the most difficult step in this process. Therefore it is really important that this customer is retained because it take three times the investment to acquire a customer compared to the amount of investment that it will take to retain one that you already have. Customers are most easily acquired from referrals that other customers that have used your products give to them, the reason being that the cost of acquiring such a customer is nearly zero. Usually customers that refer their friends do not expect any form of remuneration; they are just happy to see your business flourish because you have kept them happy.
Customers can be acquired through the traditional advertisements and other form of interruptive media that consumers no longer want to listen to or be made a part of. Do you remember the last time you listened to a YouTube video and right before it started playing a random advertisement pops up and you have to listen to it? Each and every consumer gets exposed to over 2000 advertisements every single day. The chances that they will see yours are borderline zero. Digital media has proven to be more effective because the form that it uses is not made for the masses but is targeted to a relevant audience. These are such as Search Experience optimization.
After acquiring the customer, it is at this point that the organization must make a lasting impression, and a positive one at that. The customer experience journey that a consumer will go through determines whether they will be satisfied as per their expectations or whether they will be dissatisfied as per the effort that the organization makes. Organisations that go out of their way to delight their customers like Starbucks have reaped the benefits. The idea that someone knows your coffee order before you make it is purely ecstatic. People will pay a premium for that extra effort. Therefore, in the midst of the intense competition that every organization is facing a delight strategy will be the route to generating positive word of mouth. In the next part of this series we will be telling you how to create the delight strategy that give you the return on investment you are seeking.