What is the best marketing trick you know? Ads? Community service? Commercials? How about social media? Is that Instagram account what drives more sales and customers to your store? Or is it something else? Some businesses have gimmicks. The Speakeasy Bar inside a hot dog restaurant in New York gets by on word of mouth alone because it is a fun gimmick that gets people talking. Out of everything in your marketing toolbelt, which one works better than the rest, hands down across all industries?
I will give you a hint, it is also one of the cheapest methods of marketing around. It is not even a new technology that gives you the ability to do what you never were able to do before, You will not find it online or in your mailbox or anywhere else outside your store. In fact, the public at large would never even see it. You may be asking yourself, what could you possibly do to market yourself if the public never gets to see it?
Customer Service Is Key
Customer service. Word of mouth is still and always be the king of marketing. Over 100 million people watch the Super Bowl every year, and brands spend millions to produce a 30-second commercial to pay millions more to have it shown. This does less for marketing than a single viral act of selflessness or selfishness by a brand. A single response in anger can ruin a business forever, United Airlines still has not recovered from the removal of one customer one time by force. This has happened to every airline countless times in the past, but this time the internet caught wind of it. A single act of goodwill can cause an increase in sales that no commercial could ever give. Staying in the airline industry, Southwest outperforms every other airline in history. They are not the most comfortable or accommodating, in fact, their reputation is quite the opposite. However, they have this. Great customer service whenever possible and these are the things people remember.
Across the board and even locally, Austin businesses such as Luxury Auto Works and Capital Pediatric Group have gone out of their way to accommodate customers needs, and in a way that genuinely assures their customers’ health and happiness, even if it may hurt the bottom line. Many local Austin businesses learned this in the recession. When families needed to cut back on expenses, those businesses that maintained a stellar level of service stayed in business despite cuts to other areas of operation.
The number one reason people try out a new business is that someone they trust recommended them. This is why influencer marketing is growing. People trust someones personal recommendations, even if that person is a celebrity. Brands are just not trusted with their own message these days, the consumer is far savvier than in the past. One friend telling another that a certain detergent did not remove a stain holds more weight than 100 commercials on television no matter what the brand says.
So, if you want to really increase your brand’s reputation, do what nobody else but you can do. You have to offer a superior service. You have to care. Survey after survey shows time and again that a customer is willing to pay a premium for service. If your customer service is not stellar, prices or quality will not save you no matter how good it is.