The chocolate in the chilli

When I make chilli con carne at home I always put a bit of chocolate in it – the good quality dark stuff, not much, just one or two squares. I think it makes a real difference to the taste, and it’s my ‘secret ingredient’.
Great businesses often have a secret ingredient – something that makes their product or service a bit different, gives them an edge over their competitors and gives their customers a reason to try it in the first place, stay loyal to it and ultimately recommend it to their friends, family and colleagues.
Most owners of small and medium sized businesses tell me that ‘word of mouth’ is very important to their business, especially in delivering good quality leads and enquiries – opportunities that they can convert more easily and profitably than those that come from other marketing activities.
So what makes ‘word of mouth’ marketing happen? What makes a customer tell other people about a product or service? It’s usually when their experience has been special, because that makes them feel good about themselves (“didn’t I make a good decision”) and is more likely to be interesting to the people they want to tell.
So to get more work of mouth marketing, I suggest we just need to find the chocolate to put in our chillis. A good start point is to find out what customers think, perhaps with a simple and inexpensive customer survey.