Word Up: The skinny on word-of-mouth marketing

by Sue Pitts on June 5, 2009

Everywhere you turn for marketing advice, you’ll hear how important word-of-mouth marketing is. Start-up business owners even list this as their only approach to marketing a new product or service. Why? Simple: They think it’s free.

In fact, you can manage your word-of-mouth marketing. And it’s effective. But it ain’t free.

There are experts, like BzzAgent (www.BzzAgent.com), who can help you, if you have the money. Or you can sign up to be a BzzAgent, test some products for other companies, and learn a whole lot about word-of-mouth marketing in the process. And that part’s free.

But managing your reputation entails paying attention to every aspect of your business. Do you return phone calls and e-mail messages promptly? How do you handle an unhappy customer? Are your employees always mindful that their behavior and demeanor reflect back onto your reputation? Hiring and keeping stellar employees isn’t cheap (and it certainly isn’t free) but it is one major step in managing your word-of-mouth marketing.

The other is to turn your customers into cheerleaders. Here’s where we can help. For free. (Yes, I said “free.”) Join us on Tuesday, June 9, for a free session led by business coach and entrepreneur Mark Ford. He will help us:

* See the Impact of Customer Service
* Remember the Top 3 Principles of Good Customer Service
* Take Away the Top 10 Customer Loyalty Tips
* Smile and Have a Laugh or Two

Join us at the IWCC Entrepreneurial Center (21915 Cessna Ave.) from 3 until 4:30 for a discussion on increasing customer satisfaction through outstanding service.

RSVP by Monday, June 8, to ctrost@iwcc.edu or jmierau@iwcc.edu. Snacks will be provided. Remember, this session is FREE and may spark your next word-of-mouth marketing campaign.

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