For small business owners, winning new business can cost precious time and money. However, what many don’t realise is that it doesn’t necessarily need to. Chris Strode, founder of Invoice2go gives his top tips for drumming up business.
Positive word of mouth, both in-person and online, is invaluable to any small business. If you provide a positive experience for your customers, they will spread the word. And being recommended to a customer can be the reinforcement they need to know they’re making the right choice in purchasing your product or service. Finding ways to encourage more referrals from your customers can be a great way to establish your reputation, and it can also save time and money that you might have invested in other forms of marketing and promotion in the long run.
Here are three simple ways to encourage the spread of positive word of mouth for your small business:
Provide customer service that’s professional and polished
No matter how good your product or service is, it’s often how you communicate and treat your customers overall that leaves a lasting impact. If you want positive word of mouth, you need to think about the end to end service you provide, from setting up appointments, to providing estimates, and even collecting payment. Make sure you’re easy to contact and deal with at every stage.
Also think about how your customers prefer to communicate, and meet them there. Are they avid users of text messaging, or do they prefer taking to social media? Showing you understand their preferences and being present where they are can go a long way to making them feel valued. Consider using small business tools like Invoice2go, that give you an easy way to send professional quotes and invoices to customers, via email or instant message.
Know who your most valuable customers are, and treat them accordingly
These are your long-standing customers who already know and trust your brand, and love what you do. Identify these customers, and make a special effort to reach out to them on a regular basis, especially if you haven’t heard from them in a while.
Offering a personalised service is one way to help these customers feel valued and important. For instance, after you have completed your service, consider sending the occasional update with advice and complementary resources, or offer them a special discount or incentive to come back. It’s your most valued customers who will be brand advocates and spread positive word of mouth about your business, so do what you can to show you understand their needs and build a relationship with them beyond a once-off service.
Contribute to your community
Building strong community bonds can do wonders for your small business and can save you money in the long run. Word spreads quickly, so if you can impress a few people in your local area by contributing in a meaningful way, you might find that a consistent stream of business appears right under your nose.
Consider sponsoring a local event, or volunteering your time to help at a local sporting club’s sausage sizzle. Fostering genuine and trustworthy customer relationships is a great way to build positive rapport, and to put you in great stead to be referred to others time and time again.
Encouraging the spread of positive word of mouth, both within your local area and online, is a quick and efficient way to win new business and generate a consistent flow of new customers over a sustained period of time.