Word of mouth is a driving marketing force. According to The Nielsen Company, 84 percent of people take personal recommendations to heart when making a decision on a product or service.
With such a powerful and free advertising method at stake, it’s in your best interest to get in on the action and foster client recommendations in every way possible. For a trade whose work is largely invisible, as with electricians, generating word of mouth buzz can be a little more difficult than those offering a highly visible product or service.
Back to Basics
Good word of mouth advertising comes from having something to rave about. In your case, it’s your service. Be meticulous with your scheduling to avoid any lateness or negativity. Do your utmost when it comes to customer service, including hiring a virtual assistant or answering service to field calls when you’re on the job site. Finish your job early and under budget, whenever possible and generally be the business you, personally, would like to work with for your own needs.
Go Above and Beyond
Your clients will remember you if you remember them. For example, if a client you’re working for suffers a loss or experiences a huge joy, go out of your way to express your sympathies or celebrate the situation. A card is a touching gesture, although some companies have been known to send flowers or gifts.
You needn’t go to extremes; simply remembering something mentioned in conversation and bringing it up during your next chat with the client can be enough to make an impression worth passing on. Even sending out holiday greetings to those clients who have opted into your marketing materials can make you notable.
Work That Social Media
Your social media marketing efforts are separate, yet tied, to your word-of-mouth advertising. If a client can easily find you on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or your blog, they can easily send others your way and the referral won’t get lost in the traffic.
Keep your online brand aptly named and to the point and tie in your search engine optimization to make sure those who can’t quite remember your name – but can remember your location or logo – can find you easily. Use your online presence to augment your word of mouth marketing efforts.
Ask for Referrals and Reviews
It might seem pushy, but sometimes all you need to do is ask clients for a referral or review. Mentioning it at the end of your job can go a long way in prompting satisfied clients to pass on the word to their friends, family and coworkers or even leave favorable reviews on sites like Angie’s List.
If you’re really pushing for referrals, you can even offer an incentive like a discount, gift card or even cash back for a referral that yields a successful lead. Incentives aren’t a good idea for reviews, though – it can give the impression of manipulation.
Finally, you don’t always need dynamic photos of your work because your work speaks for itself. Emphasize to potential clients that a good electrical job should not be seen; if it is, there’s likely a problem and that’s the opposite of what you strive for.
Stress safety and the soundness of your work to generate a good word of mouth buzz and add an incentive or two to make you stand out from your competitors and sweeten the deal.