Customer experience is what powers your word of mouth marketing campaign.
Remember, your customers enthusiastically talk about their experience with your service or product not your logo or fancy business card. I’ve seen some businesses spend more time designing their business cards than they do growing their company organically through referrals and repeat business.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, growing organically is the holy grail of business growth. We covet organic growth because the cost of acquisition is very low when we earn a customer through a referral or repeat business. This is why you see companies like Uber and Zappos not spend their budgets on marketing but instead invest into a superior customer experience.
You must ask yourself these three questions before you build your word of mouth marketing campaign.
How will we define a successful campaign?
At the very beginning, you and your team are going to be very excited at the thought of earning new customers organically. It’s fun, I’ve been there. Before you jump into the deep end, ask yourself,
“Why are we doing this?”
Is it to earn 100 new customers this quarter?
Is it to increase revenue this month?
Is it to grow your unaided brand awareness from 15% to 20%?
The main focus of your campaign should be to grow your business internally from your existing customers who love your service or product. Having internal growth is what companies who are admired have in common. Admired companies are ones who remain relevant for decades.
As Jeff Bezos says, “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is powerful.” A simple quote from an extraordinary businessman.
Have we humanized the experience?
Does your word of mouth marketing campaign have character? Is it engaging? It is authentic?
Airbnb has created a world class word of mouth marketing campaign. As mentioned in step 3 within this Airbnb blog post, they included personalized referral codes within their program. The Airbnb team humanized the interaction with a unique code and picture of the recommendee. Instead of simply having a computer generated code, they were able to put a face to the offer which I believe gives them an opportunity to increase conversion and engagement.
This subtle touch point is something I call a micro customer experience. A micro customer experience is a small, subtle, affordable and memorable interaction a brand has with their customers.
Will this be fun for our customers?
Harry’s used gamification very well to increase awareness of their company and recruit their future customers. Similar to Airbnb, Harry’s gave each visitor a unique code to share with their family and friends. This alone isn’t what made the campaign world class.
They created a tiered incentive program to earn free products. For example, if 5 of your friends used your unique code you earned free shaving cream. 10 friends? You won a handle with blade. 25 friends? You earned a shave set. 50 friends? One year free blades.
Harry’s is smart. They captured early adopters and consumers who take pride in introducing their friends and family to new services or products. Gathering 100,000 email addresses before they launched their service gave them a platform most companies can only dream of. I’ve seen a lot of word of mouth marketing campaigns and Harry’s might be the best.
Whether you are a small, medium or large sized business, take a look at how you are spreading word of mouth.
Have you defined what a successful program looks like? Is your campaign engaging and fun?
Share with me: what does a company need to do to earn a referral from you?
To learn how to earn higher customer and employee loyalty, download my ebook The 28 Traits of Organizations Who Are Customer Experience Titans below.