Word on the street!
In today’s “same stuff – same price” market place, perhaps the greatest challenge for individual businesses is how to attract the attention of “choice rich – time poor” customers.
There are of course the traditional radio, television, and print advertising mediums available, and more recently a host of online internet, web and social media based platforms and options that all have a part to play. However, the downside of these media is a lack of control as to who actually sees or hears the message, and of course, how that message is received and perceived by the target audience.
Word of mouth advertising and promotion has for many years been hailed as the most powerful and certainly the most cost effective. But that of course depends on the message that is being communicated.
In recent weeks there have been a number of new businesses put up open signs for the first time all positioning themselves to attract and entice new customers through their respective doors. Some have done well; others have struggled. Some are continuing to do well, whilst others continue to struggle.
Well in simple terms, business success comes down to a very simple question; what’s the word on the street?
The old cliché “you only get one chance at a first impression’ may be old hat, but that does not diminish its validity. Sadly, for those struggling, those less than favourable first impressions that flow from their first wave of customers, have led to a less than favourable message being transmitted to family and friends via the medium of word of mouth. And to make matters worse, the speed of light phenomena that is social media, has hastened the spread equivalent to an infectious virus.
So who controls the word on the street? Short answer … YOU DO!
The word on the street is a succinct synopsis of your customer’s experience. It is a sensory summation of all that they experienced based on what they saw, heard, smelt, tasted, touched, and also how they emotionally connected with your product or service offerings. Their word is an expression of recommendation, either positive or negative, that they are keen to share with others.
The bad news is that negative words spread more quickly by a factor of at least ten to that of good news.
Every business has hundreds of customer touch-points that occur on a daily basis. And every one of these touch-points has the capacity to make or break the customer connection, to be the instigator of a good word, or a bad word. That is why EVERYTHING MATTERS when it comes to customer service. There is not one touch-point that is more or less important than another.
The good news however is that if you get it right, and your customers are impressed with what they experienced, then the word on the street can become your greatest ally, a medium that drives many a new and repeat customer through your doors.