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Craft customer experiences that drive recommendations (word-of-mouth) & therefore sales

As an SME how can you push the boundaries of your organisation? How do you extend the value of your organisation’s products & services with limited budgets?

The phrase big data is thrown around in every sector and has exploded onto every touch point for business growth but in reality, it is small data that is key. For every business, large or small it is really all about your customer, when a customer has a business problem what do they want to see? Your customer can see a million products, a million solutions. But what is it that your customer really needs?

Impact of word-of-mouth across various stages of the purchase process

We know that:

For an SME one of the most important factors that drives your business are strong recommendations or word of mouth.

As recommendations are a key influencer across all stages of a purchase process, from being initially informed of a product or service through to the concrete purchase decision you need to engage customers with above average experiences, and build positive feedback properties or word-of-mouth equity. This can increase the stickiness of a sale and improve the repeat purchase potential of customers.

impact_of_word_of_mouth

Figure 1: Mckinsey: Impact of Word of mouth – across various stages of a purchase process.

It is reported that 8-in-10 purchases are influenced by a recommendation are influenced by people talking face-to-face. And every product or service category, regardless of price point, is usually influenced by friends, family and colleagues rather than more expert sources of advice. The “experts” mattered more when seeking advice in technical categories such as digital cameras or cars.

Hence where do we focus on for mouth-to-mouth marketing

For an appreciated engagement to happen you need to:

  1. First identify the close & trusted set of customers that you can work with.
  2. Understand if they would recommend your product or service to others.
  3. Extract the genuine reasons behind being a promoter or a detractor.
    a.These reasons should not be ambiguous rather should be a quantifiable indicator regarding the product design, service delivery or the pricing.
  4. Identify the key influential of this group which you need to focus on to drive the word-of-mouth recommendations.
  5. Also Identify the key influential detractors in the group who you would need to convert to a promoter.

word_of_mouth_marketing

Figure 2: Mckinsey: Where to focus on for an Effective Word of mouth for a Brand.

How to measure word-of-mouth marketing for customer engagements?

Your objective is to have an understanding of how customers’ experiences at those moments influenced their overall loyalty so you can figure out ways to improve those experiences, it’s about how to use this small data for a competitive advantage. Hence for me it’s about my customer’s Customer.It’s not about presenting a billion items and handing over an inventory or your encyclopaedia of solutions, it’s about presenting a highly relevant experience for your customer.


customer_engagement

Connect the Dots and encourage your customers to be great!

Sheejo Arvind, Practice Lead – Customer solutions (CEC) at Invenio Business solutions has 9 years of strong SAP Consulting experience, and 6 years of extensive sales experience including the implementation of SAP CRM Sales specific scenarios, delivered key billing revenue & innovation management (BRIM) solutions, actively engaged with Customer engagement & commerce solutions.

References:
  1. Ed Keller
  2. The Face-to-Face Book:  Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace
  3. Mckinsey
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1 Comment

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  1. Bharath Ajendla

    Thanks for the blog.  You analysis rightly emphasizes the importance of word of mouth marketing.  Segmentation of your customer base to understand the real “influencers” is the key (this is also known as “influencer marketing”).  The Customer Engagement Intelligence Applications with its “Segmentation” capabilities are best suited for this especially when you have to segment terabytes of structured/unstructured data to understand your customer interest, sentiment and buying history to find the needle(influencers) in a haystack.

    Keep sharing the good information…

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