Pass it on- part 2

Back to Word of Mouth Marketing – what are the challenges and how do we make it work for our businesses?
How many times have we heard a satisfied customer say “I’ll be happy to recommend you to my friends / family / colleagues”, felt great and then months later realised that we haven’t seen any of these potential new customers? Why does this good intention fail to materialise?
Let’s start by assuming that the comment is genuine – there’s not much we can do about people who are intentionally misleading us. Some of the common reasons businesses don’t get the results from Word of Mouth Marketing that they expect are:
The message is wrong – it creates the wrong expectation, or misses key points
The timing is wrong – it happens at the referrers convenience, not when we need the business, or it happens too late – the referrer only finds out that their friend needed a recommendation after they have bought something else
The audience is wrong – our referrers are talking to off-profile people
They just forget to do it
The first three can all be grouped under one heading – “Out of our control”. Unlike most of our marketing activity, we don’t know who our referrers are going to recommend us to, when they are going to do it or what they are going to say.
However, there is a big plus in all of this – the message will be in their words, which makes it more believable; they are talking to people they know, who are more likely to respect their opinions; and they are talking to them at a time that is relevant to their audience.
So, if we know how and why Word of Mouth Marketing works (see part 1) and why it can fall short of our excited expectations, what can we do to make it work better and deliver the rewards we desire and deserve?
Well, you’ll have to wait for part 3 next week …