Category Archives: Marketing Tactics

Word of Mouth Marketing? Go for WOW!

Don’t Settle for Customer Satisfaction, Strive to WOW Your Customers!

WOW - Word of Mouth Marketing

I recently read an article from Forbes on Word of Mouth Marketing, and it is a pretty good article with some worthwhile takeaways.  I completely agree with the overall theme of the article – the concept of continuing to earn your customers’ loyalty to your product/service. However, I think the article falls short when it talks about how to “Surprise and Delight” customers.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Surprise and Delight

Little things can go a long way in encouraging customers to leave a review. That could be anything from providing top-quality service to settling a customer service complaint in an above-and-beyond manner. There are several things you can do to surprise and delight your customers, including offering freebies and sending a thank-you note. Both provide photo opportunities that stand out on newsfeeds when your customers receive them. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get a referral off this type of behavior, if you routinely go the extra mile for your customers, you’ll find you get more word-of-mouth recommendations than if you didn’t.

So based on the article the recommended recipe to “surprise and delight” customers is to offer:

  • Top quality service (this is a surprise???)
  • “Freebies” (YES – if done right)
  • A thank you note  (good practice. . . but should be common – not a surprise)

I certainly agree with the idea of “surprising and delighting” customers as a catalyst to word of mouth marketing.  I think as marketers we can do more than the ideas listed in the Forbes article.  Keep in mind that whatever you choose to do should not be overtly self-serving.  Offering 10% on the customers next order does not constitute a WOW.  To qualify as a WOW your activity should be:

  1. Customer-focused and not directly associated with a hook to drive more business from them (immediately).  This comes across as self-serving and will not be perceived as a WOW.
  2. Unusual – something that elicits a real genuine surprise from the customer. If your competition is already doing something similar – you should come up with something else.

Here are a couple of examples that would likely WOW customers:

  • If you ran a restaurant that provides a valet service, occasionally have a loyal customer’s car detailed while they enjoy their meal.  No question this will be a surprise and most certainly delight your valued patron.  They will think – WOW!  Extra credit if you place a handwritten thank you note on the front seat thanking them for their business.
  • If you provide professional services (legal, financial, etc.) and a client has a baby, consider something extraordinary to commemorate the blessed event.  Professional courtesy would be to offer assistance in the establishment of a formal 529 plan for the child.  You could earn a WOW by providing an initial deposit in the account – maybe a share of Apple stock or shares of a growth fund.  Do you think that they will remember you for this?  Do you think they will tell their friends about you?

You can enhance your word of mouth marketing significantly – but you have to break convention.  To transform customers into advocates, a great method is to “go for the WOW”. 

Creative Roadblock? Tips for Getting the Creative Juices Flowing

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Regardless of your occupation, everyone is expected to be creative in one form or another. When faced with a creative challenge, sometimes we nail it quickly and effectively. But sometimes we don’t, we’re stuck! How do we get unstuck?

We all occasionally face this “creativity slump”. Nothing seems to click. If you find this happening to you, don’t fret. It will pass – but realize you cant force it. . . . it has to flow naturally. Any attempt to drive creativity with brute force will only result in pushing it further away from you.

If you are seeking a new idea or a unique solution to a problem, try some of these things to help break the inertia and coax the ideas back into your realm:

  1. Take a creative break – stop thinking about the challenge at hand. Give your mind some relief – some “mindless” tasks.  If you have necessary billing work, appointments to make, expense reports etc. try tackling that. Far less mentally challenging – and likely re-charging the creative batteries in the background.  You have to do that stuff anyway, so get some of it out of the way.  It’s mental clutter!
  2. Listen to unfamiliar music. Yes – unfamiliar is the key. If it is your favorite music, it triggers familiar thoughts. You are seeking a departure. If you normally listen to pop/rock or perhaps country, try some jazz. Even if you don’t “like it” just imagine the art and the creativity it took to produce. Or better yet – dont thing at all. Just listen.
  3. Get outdoors – away from everything. Sun on your face, a gentle breeze and other natural stimuli will awaken your senses and change your mental state. Hopefully this gets all of those challenges out of your mind.  This one works magic for me.
  4. Explain your problems to your dog. Man’s best friend also happens to be an excellent listener. And has never been accused of giving bad advice. Seriously, the exercise of stating your problem out loud in a concise manner might just be the trigger you need.
  5. Read some poetry. Some “quick hits” of mind food can help. You could also try reading famous quotes – like those fount at Brainy Quote: Here is one to get you started – Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss”.

I hope these ideas can help you overcome the temporary challenge you face.  Rest assured everyone you know has felt the same way at some point! The answer you seek, ironically, is most likely to come when you aren’t thinking about it.

If you have any tricks you have used successfully to as a “creativity defibrillator” please share them in comments:







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