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If you focus on maintaining the desire your customers have to continue a relationship with your business, this will set up the ideal conditions for successful word-of-mouth marketing. | Source: Shutterstock
If you focus on maintaining the desire your customers have to continue a relationship with your business, this will set up the ideal conditions for successful word-of-mouth marketing. | Source: Shutterstock

The keys to word-of-mouth marketing: Part I

Fewer factors influence the success of a jewellery business as much as reputation. DENYSE DRUMMOND-DUNN discusses the secrets to successful word-of-mouth marketing.

Ever wonder how to get more people talking about your business? It’s simple.

Offer them incredible products and services that solve their problems and fulfil their needs. Then when you have converted them into customers, continue to keep them satisfied and give them something to talk about by surprising them from time-to-time.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But as you know, it’s not!  Every strategy comes with its own set of rules, and the same is true for word-of-mouth marketing. It’s important to create a strategy to generate positive word-of-mouth for your business.

In fact, this has become an essential part of marketing as consumers have started to lose trust in the reviews they read online. Friends, family, and trusted advisors are where many of your customers likely place their faith.

Why does word-of-mouth matter?

As a retailer, it is important to understand the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance.

According to Wikipedia: “a person holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values; or participates in an action that goes against one of these three, and experiences psychological stress because of that.

"If you value your customers, offer them more than they expect. It’s not only the great product or service that generates loyalty but the implicit message that ‘you matter to us’. That’s what every customer wants to feel."

“Coping with the nuances of contradictory ideas or experiences is mentally stressful. It requires energy and effort to sit with those seemingly opposite things that all seem true.”

In other words, people are always searching for ways to reduce the stress that is caused by cognitive dissonance when shopping.

One of the ways they do this is by searching for confirmation that they have made the right choices. 

Receiving positive word-of-mouth opinions of products and services from friends or family will reduce the dissonance, as it confirms the belief in what they have purchased.

Given consumers need input to reduce the risks they take, especially when purchasing from a business for the first time, it is up to marketing to provide a maximum amount of information to build trust.

Whether this is through advertising or online customer reviews, it is important to showcase both trustworthiness and popularity to enhance consumer confidence.

This has become a challenge in recent years because of the exposure of significant fake reviews on many websites, including Amazon.

There are now services to highlight these paid or fake reviews, such as fakespot.com and reviewmeta.com.

So with that said, how can we improve customer trust in what we offer?

Make customers delighted!

If you value your customers, offer them more than they expect. It’s not only the great product or service that generates loyalty but the implicit message that ‘you matter to us’. That’s what every customer wants to feel.

"Whether this is through advertising or online customer reviews, it is important to showcase both trustworthiness and popularity to enhance consumer confidence."

Building solid relationships depends on rewarding your customers with exceptional service and perhaps the occasional creative surprise.

This can be complimentary priority shipping, free samples, coupons, discounts, or unexpected gifts. Anything you can do to show customers that you value their business, especially when it is unanticipated, will build loyalty.

While some may say it is important to do this in a regular, ongoing fashion, I disagree.  If the surprises become expected, then they no longer amaze. You should not rely on just one single way to delight your customers.

Focus on brand commitment

In the book Spreading the Word, author Tom Brown defined brand commitment as “an enduring desire to maintain a relationship with a specific entity.”

Your Facebook brand page may offer a unique opportunity to build and nurture a relationship with your customers. It takes more than just generating 'likes’ to get people to talk about you!

Have a look online and see just how many Facebook pages have almost zero engagement.

So, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Do customers have an enduring desire to maintain a relationship with our business?
  • What do we do to earn the trust of our customers each day?
  • What more can we do to surprise and delight our customers?

If you focus on maintaining the desire your customers have to continue a relationship with your business, this will set up the ideal conditions for successful word-of-mouth marketing.

Brands with a strong and above all engaging fan base on Facebook can count on daily likes, but more importantly shares and comments.

This engagement will increase visibility and accelerate reach and this ‘social proof’ will increase the attention your business gathers from potential customers.

In the next issue of Jeweller, the study continues with the importance of advocates, nurturing involvement, and distinct offerings.

More reading: 
How to tell a story in 10 words or less
Simple and effective ways to boost your word-of-mouth referrals
Networking for small business owners is crucial to relationship building
Three golden rules for investing in relationships with customers
Quality customer service always beats out pricing
 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Denyse Drummond-Dunn

Contributor • C3Centricity


Denyse Drummond-Dunn works with organisations that want to attract, delight, and retain more customers. Learn more: c3centricity.com

SAMS Group Australia
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