What worked in the past isn’t always the best solution. Business owners who stay up to date gain advantages from increased efficiency, increased sales, and understanding new opportunities.
As an example, I knew an accountant years back who told me to keep paper slips in my truck for client meetings to manually record my before and after truck mileage, the location of the meeting, and nature of the meeting for year-end tax purposes. I followed her lead and did this about three times until I realized this is super inefficient and there must be a better solution. She had “done it this way for years and it never failed her” so she wasn’t open to new solutions.
I, therefore, took it upon myself to download an app called MileIQ which automatically tracks all my trips via my iPhone and allows me to categorize them with a couple clicks making so that my data is more accurate, much more efficient, and can be imported into our accounting software in one click.
Technology changes rapidly and your business needs to change with it. Having the mentality of “it worked in the past and still works today” closes your mind for new solutions that can make you more profitable with far fewer efforts.
Word of Mouth vs Google
Customers biggest fear is buyer remorse which happens when you spend your hard earned money on a product or service that doesn’t satisfy your needs. To reduce buyer remorse, consumers naturally seek out others feedback on a company, service, or product before purchasing. This will likely never change as social proof is as important today as it was a hundred years ago just gone about much differently now due to advancements in technology.
How often do you need a product/service and pick up the phone to call one of your friends or family members for their advice?
Before Google and other top search engines became popular people relied heavily on word of mouth to make the best possible buying decision.
Now it is much easier just to do a search from your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer to find out a plethora of information, public unbiased reviews, official consumer reports, and any other information you need. You can compare exact models side by side with ease and understand the viewpoint of people most similar to you.
Asking your grandparents what they think about their computer probably wouldn’t be as helpful as hearing it from computer fanatics who run blogs comparing computers.
If you’re looking for a local service what is more reliable – the experience that one of your friends had or potentially hundreds of experiences from people of all types and backgrounds? Why would you limit the information used for your buying decision when you can so easily type a few words into your favorite search engine and gain more insightful information.
Even though this is the trend for nearly all consumers, many small business owners still rely on word of mouth like it is the golden strategy that never fails. The deeper issue with this single channel and non-diversified approach is the missed opportunity and lack of results that word of mouth leads deliver in 2017. Word of mouth is competing against Google who has one of the smartest teams ever established to provide the most informative and relevant results in a fraction of a second. Best yet, this information can be delivered anytime, anywhere versus having to wait for a call back from your buddy or family member. You can instead get hundreds of unbiased opinions in under a second versus one unbiased opinion during a 10-minute phone call.
People naturally gravitate to the easiest most efficient route especially when that route is also the most informative.
This is not to say that Word of Mouth is dead, but it’s a strategy that some business owners are clenched onto and ultimately aids in them not making investments in new channels such as search engine marketing where the future of generating new business lies. You can hand out flyers which is a shotgun approach where only a few will actually be interested or you can show up in the search results when someone is searching directly for what your business offers to attract an endless supply of high-quality leads almost automatically.
Taking Advantage of Modern Word of Mouth
Your ideal customers who search directly on Google for exactly what you do within your geographic area are either going to see your company pop up on the first page of Google where 95% of people choose their result or they are going to choose a competitor. If you don’t show up on the first page you are not even an option for potential leads.
Showing up isn’t the only thing you need to focus on. Online reviews are a relatively unbiased way to get many people’s opinions on their experience with a product or service. People trust reviews almost as much as they trust a friend or family member saying something positive about their experience with a business.
Companies that have poor reviews repel clients like bug spray repels mosquitos while companies with many positive reviews stand out in the search results and generate more leads than their competitors with less positive reviews.
The future of word of mouth is online reviews and search marketing since Google is far more efficient, informative, and is easier to use when making buying decisions for nearly any product or service on the market.
Our goal here at Recharged Business Solutions is to help business owners understand and capitalize on new opportunities that boost their growth and profits. If you want to learn more about how we can increase your efficiency and profits just give us a call at 603-277-3017 or send us a message.