Sick of tyre-kickers? Want more customers that are actually profitable? The types that return again and again, and that spread the word about your business? Everyone has an opinion on the best small business marketing strategies. But before you determine the marketing tactics for your business, first decide on your goal.
Presumably you want more customers. But what TYPE of customers do you want?
If you want the types of customers that shop around for deals, that are attracted by the lowest price, then promote your business with an amazing price discount. There is nothing wrong with this strategy if you've built your business to compete primarily on price. Group buying sites can be a great way to get large volume of customers through the door, but remember that these types of customers are fickle. When a better deal comes alone, they'll take it.
If you want customers that value high quality, good workmanship, service excellence or a premium experience, you can either resort to an expensive branding strategy (generally not in the league of most small businesses), or promote your business using customer reviews.
Positive customer reviews tell potential customers that you'll do a great job and recent Nielsen research shows that they are the best way to earn people's trust. Not only will you attract more customers, you'll attract the quality customers that you're looking for…
3 Reasons you (should) want Quality Customers
- They're easier to sell to.
Builder, Chris Dimos says; "The people that come to Mr Verandah from WOMO just want to go ahead straight away. They don't need to go through the whole trust-building stage as they already see us as experts in our field. Word-of-mouth is a really good way of marketing our business – it fits really well with our business philosophy of letting our work speak for itself."
- They're often prepared to spend more for a great outcome. That's not to say that price isn't important, but it's not the most important factor.
Alicia from Hair On the Park says; "The clients we get through WOMO tend to be more discerning – which means they're happy to spend money on good service and they re-book. They're not after the cheapest haircut, they're looking for a certain level of service, quality and pampering – which is what we do best."
- They're more loyal. Once this type of customer finds a business they're happy with, they're very sticky.
After just 4 months of using customer reviews, Christina Stamatopoulo from Body & Bronze said "we've already had at least 25 new clients that found us through Word Of Mouth Online. And these are great clients that value our service and use us time and time again."
An electrician even goes so far as to use customer reviews to filter out the price-shoppers. "Each month I get about 20 calls directly from WOMO– about 1 a day. Of these 5-8 generally become clients – but the best thing about using word-of-mouth is not the quantity of leads and sales it generate, but the type. When I get a call from someone I'll give them a price on their job and then tell them to get online and look at my reviews on WOMO. They can see clearly from my reviews that I'm very focused on quality, so if they are too, we have a match and they'll call back straight away to book in. It's helping me weed out the price-shoppers from the quality customers. This has an enormous effect on the bottom-line."
Victor Bogdan, AGY Electrix
For most businesses, the right type of customer is worth a lot more than a tyre-kicker, so plan your marketing to attract quality customers.