What is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing around?
Word of mouth.
That’s people recommending you and your workshop to their friends, colleagues and family. It works so well because it’s an authentic, one-to-one referral from a highly trusted source, based on firsthand experience.
And what’s the easiest and cheapest way to get this free advertising?
Delivering a great customer experience. Not just customer service – a great customer experience.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is about every single point of interaction a customer has with your business and the overall impression (or feeling) it leaves them with.
Think of it this way: you could give a customer what you might consider “great customer service” (everyone was polite, the service was prompt, the courtesy vehicle was great, and they got their car back in a timely way) but if the technician failed to identify the main cause of the fault, the repairs failed, and the customer was back with the same issue two days later, their overall customer experience might be a negative one.
So a great customer experience is central to ensuring your customers not only keep coming back but tell others about your workshop, too.
How customer experience relates to your marketing
While customer experience is probably the best marketing you can do, it’s not the only form of marketing you should do. It’s essential to continue doing whatever other marketing or advertising you’ve found gets customers through the door, then WOW them with a great experience. This is the secret to growing a loyal customer base.
Customer experience begins with whatever marketing you’re doing to attract new customers. After all, reading your ad or visiting your website or Facebook page is quite possibly the first interaction they’ll have with your business. (Remember, customer experience is about every single interaction a customer has – including those they have with you before they become customers.)
Customer service expert and New York Times bestselling author Shep Hyken says one secret to great customer experiences is giving customers and potential customers ways to engage with your workshop whenever they want or need to.
This could include providing useful advice in articles and videos on your website, for example, or responding quickly and helpfully to enquiries that come through your Facebook page’s Messenger app.
That way they can build a relationship with you from day one.
You can read more about how Shep says customer experience is the best marketing, here.
What to do next
If you want to encourage word-of-mouth recommendations (and you do, we promise!) start small and find out how you can make your customer’s day easier.
By improving your customer’s experience, you’ll dramatically increase the likelihood they’ll recommend you to others.
In the meantime, don’t forget word of mouth is only one form of marketing, and you should continue to promote your workshop in other ways, too.