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When a business goes “above and beyond” to meet your needs, you’re likely to tell the world about your positive experience – and you’ll do so in such a passionate and persuasive way that others will want to deal with that business, too.

For example, my oldest son has severe, life-threatening food allergies and must avoid even minute particles of allergens. When the amazing cafeteria staff at UC San Diego offered to accommodate his special needs, literally cooking his food separately to ensure that it is safe, you can bet that I told everyone I knew – as well as the thousands of people who participate in a popular food allergy discussion board. Their generosity enabled my son to have a “normal” college experience. I, for one, will be singing their praises for years.

When your customers talk, what are they saying about your business?



GET PEOPLE TALKING


“Word of Mouth” advertising is the most powerful form of advertising available. The same person who ignores ads, deletes emails and throws brochures in the “round file” will take notice when their best friend gushes about the fabulous experience they had with your business. So what can you do to encourage people to talk about your company?

Exceed Expectations

People rarely talk about average experiences, but they almost always talk about exceptional experiences – both good and bad. For example, a friend of mine recently returned from a vacation to find water pouring out of his house. A pipe had burst, and his home was flooded. My friend’s insurance company responded so quickly and so well that he ended up excited about what could have been a nightmarish experience! Of course, if it had been a nightmarish experience, you can bet that his 250 Facebook friends would have heard about that, too.

Offer a Reward

Whether your referral program is formal or informal, always thank people for sending business your way. Write them a note, give them a coupon, send them a gift, take them to lunch…do something tangible to express your appreciation.

Distribute Freebies

Stay top-of-mind by giving away useful items emblazoned with your company’s name and contact information. Look for something your customers will use regularly. For example, a pet store could give away pet food covers or lint removers.

Be Professional In All You Do

Treat everyone with a great deal of courtesy and respect. After all, customers are not the only ones that might talk about your business. Vendors, suppliers, employees, networking contacts, friends, family members, bloggers, etc., are all potential “spokespeople” for your business as well. Be especially mindful of how you handle complaints; in today’s digital age, the news about one person’s bad experience can quickly spread to thousands of people.



CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: TAMPICO SPICE COMPANY

For over 60 years the Tampico Spice Company has been helping people spice up their recipes with the freshest, most aromatic and pungent herbs and spices available. Consumers, grocery stores, food manufacturers, restaurants and other food service operators all appreciate Tampico’s quality, price and service – so much so that word of mouth is one of the important factors that has contributed to the company’s growth. 

Click here to see the website that I wrote for them.



What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon