I walk into my usual hairdressers. They make me feel welcome by greeting me warmly and offering me a coffee. They behave as though they want me to be there, and are pleased to be cutting my hair. Most importantly they do a really good cut.
In return for the exceptional service I receive, I will tell anyone looking for a hairdresser about my favourite salon. I sing their praises, evangelizing about the quality of the cut and the excellent customer service.
This hairdressing salon is a little different to other businesses because it doesn’t advertise, it doesn’t have a Facebook page, and it doesn’t have a Twitter following – it doesn’t need it. This may be considered a little outdated these days, after all as a business you want to be building your clientele, but by focusing too much on followings, likes and shares you’re taking away focus on your service or product. My hairdressers don’t need to think about social media because they get enough business through word-of-mouth.
Focus on connecting, not just collecting
You probably spend an inordinate amount of your time trying to reach out to people. And to some degree, you’ll measure your success by counting the number of e-newsletters opened, or views of your products on your website pages. And, although your ‘reach’ is important what is more vital is that you give your customers what they need – a good experience in working with you.
Be good at what you do and care about your customer’s experience and you won’t need to spend so much time promoting yourself by other means. Create customer experiences worthy of being passed from person-to-person and people will flock to you.
Word-of-mouth is still the original and most powerful way to influence business results. The quality of your work and your customer service will be all the advertising you need because this form of marketing is what your consumers trust above all others.
But what if word-of-mouth recommendations are not forthcoming?
Asking for feedback reminds people about your business and gets them to think about your company or product. The ‘How would you describe us to a friend?’ question forces them to think about, and create a concrete opinion to you. If people form an opinion of you then they are more likely to share that opinion with others.
Advertising or promoting yourself on social media is not fundamental for success. If you’re adverse to Twitter or Facebook (or any other social media platforms), or you simply don’t have the time or inclination, then don’t bother with a half-hearted attempt. Instead create a wonderful experience for your existing business clients. Create happy customers, and they will send many new ones in your direction.
Image credit: Midnight Believer, Whisper