People tend to consider oneself as someone with strong opinions. They’d like to believe that are not suggestible and easy to convince by anyone. However, you should pay attention next you switch opinion in an everyday situation. Isn’t it after this discussion you had with this close relative?

That’s the power of word of mouth. According to Pr. Jonah Berger, expert in social influence, word of mouth recommendation is 10 times more effective than advertising to convince someone of the something’s interest. What about you?

  • are you more likely to trust a TV ad, a web banner, or someone close to you?
  • didn’t you ever recommend a service or product you enjoyed and were satisfied with, to people around you?

People are likely to share their good experiences with their relatives and friends. If you think about it, it is a two way street, since most people actually listens to their close ones. Having that in mind, most marketers are aware of the strong impact word of mouth can have and are using it as a powerful channel to promote their product or service. It’s even without a doubt one of the most effective, sufficient and inexpensive strategy to adopt.   So, what do you need to do to get people talking about you?

Build trust and relation with your users

It’s hard to create exceptional Customer Experience (CX), but when you achieve that, the effects can be extremely rewarding. There are good practices you can implement: pay special attention to first contact, and invest in a good team of customer support, account managers and sales executives. They are the people who should be taking care of your customers and leaving them with great impression. As an example. We have all been on the other side and can relate: it’s frustrating waiting on an answer for too long. Being able to answer accurately and fast enough makes your users feel taken care of. A professional but friendly tone and a pinch of empathy to resonate to each one of them will bring you one step closer to the graal.

Deliver more than expected

Price is not the only thing that measures your service’s worth. Regardless of the price users pay for it – 0 or 1000$, the perceived value they have of your service can be very different from one user to another – depending the importance of the problem you solve or the process you support. But, a common thing is that they all have a certain level of expectations towards your service, which vary according to their context. Let’s take a look at an interesting example. This guy, Rich, when using Mailjet email service for the first time, said he went for the 0€ freemium plan, so he payed nothing for using it. Knowing that, we guess that his expectations towards Mailjet were quite low. He was not even expecting to get an answer to his case when he raised a support ticket for some problem he had. That is when this support agent answered, and after some discussion and efforts in the next days, managed to get to the bottom of the problem and finally delivered a definitive solution to it. It took a few days after the initial request, but in Rich’s case, couple of days was OK, since “time” wasn’t part of his expectations. Mailjet delivered way above the expectations Rich had. What they got in return if no money? Achieving to reach Rich by an outstanding manner, they lead him to want to recommend the service in return. Rich posted a 5-minutes video on its Youtube channel describing how helpful Mailjet support service was, and how he was thrilled by this experience. The scale may be relative, but this humble however influent content (he mentions that he works in customer support as well) may lead some uncertain prospect to chose Mailjet over a competitor. Once your product has proven its utility and reliability, delivering more than expected to your users is key for triggering their intention to talk about you. This is why you should ensure to make the extra mile at any interaction, especially when they originate the contact. Pay special attention to the critical moments – when they wait for something specific from you. Give them the chance to be thrilled and recommend you!

Engage users to market your service with tools and techniques

  • Incentives – stimulate your users to share by giving them additional benefits for each Facebook or twitter share.
  • Referrals – every user who “invites” someone new to your service – via email for example is to be rewarded in a way. Like Dropbox which offers a decent amount of additional space to users who shared the service with their friends.
  • Third party recommendation services – a great way to collect your user’s feedback and publish them with rankings. On the one hand – you have your satisfaction score calculated for your benefit and awareness; on the other you can publish the results on your website. Most people read reviews, before engaging with a product or service.
  • Gamification – consider rewarding your users your they achieve a certain goal. For example – as an emailing service provider, you would like your customers to say “I just sent my first campaign with AwesomeEmailing”; in those cases gamification is about rewarding them for choosing your service; for you, it’s a way to follow your user’s engagement level ; in definitive, it’s another occasion for your users to talk about you.

Customer Experience is the key

Getting your users to share your service is all that together ; but the key ingredient is an outstanding Customer Experience (consider User Experience for web-based services). Without it, no one will make the effort of using your viral tools. Let’s take a look at Amazon and AirBnb. Both services we are all familiar with. Both are completely different, but with one thing in common: neither Amazon nor Airbnb owe their sol success to a good business model. What make them so popular and credible among users are their platforms. They are designed to make each user get the most in a timely manner and with the most trust possible. These companies strategically put many efforts on building exceptional User Experience and stimulated their customers to spread the word with state-of-the-art viral techniques. Uber is pretty much the same case. It’s a transportation service, like Taxi, no big deal? Except for their exceptional customer service and user friendly, fast, reliable app – the craze it generated speaks for itself. It’s not what they do, it’s how they do it. “Wow that was fast! That was easy! What a great service!” Sounds familiar? If you delight your customers, you will get them talking about you. Word of mouth is best spread by those who already used the service and loved it not only because of what it provides, but also thanks to the surprisingly great experience they had with it. What was the last time you were a part of a cycle of word of mouth? We’ve all been there, haven’t we?