If you were on the hunt for a great butcher, where would you look? Well, an enormous number of people are searching online, and good butchers like Meat @ Billy’s are reaping the rewards for providing great service.
Owner, Billy Gibney says “we got our first customer review about a year ago and I realised immediately that this concept could be something really good for us. I’m not particularly technical myself, but these days everything’s done online. So having a great online reputation is really important.”
Using online reviews from happy customers to attract more customers, and social media to keep in touch with existing customers, Billy has been able to grow his young business 40% year-on-year for the last 2 years – figures unheard of in the current economic climate. Billy says; “Growth has been remarkable… we just keep getting busier and busier!”
“We joined WOMO’s Happy Customers Program, used the tools provided, and we’ve now got 55 fantastic reviews – which is great. We get plenty of people mentioning that they’ve seen our reviews and it’s definitely brought in a lot more business. I almost feel guilty given the current economic climate, but our turnover is up 35-40% on last year and I’d say most of that is due to the word-of-mouth feedback online.”
“We’re always getting people telling us they found us online and mentioning our reviews. We’re even getting people travelling 1 hours just to buy their meat from us! Sometimes I can’t believe it myself!”
“I started only 2.5 years ago and have built the business up from scratch – with public reviews online, we've been able to build a great reputation really quickly."
When asked what his secrets to providing great service are, Billy says; “being helpful, polite and personal – the old-fashioned stuff. We open doors for customers when we can and try to know everyone by name. It seems that these small things are dying in today’s society, but they make a huge difference! We also focus on good, fresh and consistent product, as well as first-rate product knowledge.”
It’s not rocket science, but it sure pays off! Billy doesn’t have a website and says that Word Of Mouth Online is the only marketing they do. “We haven’t needed to do any other marketing as word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising.” In the last 30 days alone, Billy’s WOMO page has been viewed by over 300 visitors, with many of them clicking through to email or call the store.
“You don’t have to know anything about computers to get new customers from word-of-mouth online!”
Two years ago it was just Billy, his wife and a couple of casual staff, but now there’s a team of six full-time staff and many casuals as well. Using customer reviews is great for morale too; “Our staff are really into checking our online reputation – it’s a very tangible way that they can see their hard work paying off.”
So what’s Billy’s customer service secret? “The most important thing is having a genuine care for customers. It’s very personal as we’re always talking about what’s for dinner tonight and how last night’s dinner went. We see the same people regularly and many of them have now become friends.”