Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Exceed Expectations, Don’t Just Meet Them

In today’s world, word travels faster than ever before.

Thanks to smartphones, a variety of social media platforms, and online reviews, word-of-mouth marketing is not only easy, but extremely effective. It costs you nothing in advertising dollars, yet reaches hundreds of potential clients — most of whom prefer to go with their neighbor’s recommendation versus the company on the billboard.

If you’re in the competitive home service business, chances are you rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing to get new clients. Home services businesses that can benefit from customers who are motivated to recommend your company to others include:

  • Heating and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical

So, how do you give your customers an experience they’ll want to tell others about? Go beyond simply meeting expectations, and delight them by exceeding expectations.  

Think Outside the Box

If you want to give your customers something to talk about, then you’ve got to think outside the box! According to Stefan Thomke, the William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, the defining difference between a mediocre company and a wildly successful one “… has less to do with catchy marketing and everything to do with the design of the experience itself.”

Your customer probably doesn’t expect you do anything more than a job well-done – to show up and carry out the services they’ve hired you for. But what if you sent them freshly baked cookies afterward as a thank you for their business? Who does that type of thing? Can you just imagine how surprised they’d be or how delighted they’d feel?

You can practically hear them recounting the pleasant surprise to their friends and family across the dinner table. That’s exactly what you want — to leave a positive, lasting impression with your clients that will have them recommending your business to their circle of influence.

Be Likeable, Not Forgettable  

Think about the companies you yourself do repeat business with. What is it that keeps you coming back? Chances are, you are loyal to a company because you had an excellent experience with them. Simply put, you like them.

Sometimes, the most effective tactic to gaining and keeping clients is to simply go into the job being yourself, as opposed to a jargon-speaking know-it-all.  Be professional. Know your stuff. However, speak to the client as a friend would, and don’t talk around them; talk to them! When you make your clients feel as if they are a part of the process, and you take time to listen to their concerns and needs, you make them feel valued and understood.

Take the time to ask them how their day is going before you dive into the task at hand. Don’t just fix pipes, but go one step further and clean them, wiping away the dust that may have settled there. Leaving the site cleaner than it was when you arrived won’t go unnoticed!  

Small acts like this leave a big impression with those you are serving. Often times, it’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference. Be likeable, and people will like to share your company’s name with those looking for quality services.

Do a Friendly Follow Up

It’s true that customers buy from individuals they like. So, what other ways can you strive to be likeable in order to drive word-of-mouth marketing? Focus on friendly follow-up techniques! In an age where technology reigns, people might expect a thank-you email. What they might not expect, however, is an old-fashioned thank-you note or fun little package mailed or hand-delivered right to their front door. What they might not expect, however, is a good old-fashioned thank-you note, mailed or hand-delivered right to their front door.

A sentiment like that is much less likely to be overlooked and will have your clients smiling at the thoughtfulness of such a personal gesture. Friendly follow-ups like this have the power to make your client feel as if he or she is your only client, and goes back to the importance of making those you work with feel valued and cared for on a personal level.

This is just one more way to garner some social media love and good online reviews as well as increase the likelihood that clients will spread the word about their experience with your business during casual conversations with friends.

See for Yourself

The professionals at To Your Success have been delighting customers and spurring on word-of-mouth marketing moments for 20 years. They make your marketing consistent, effortless, and personal by streamlining the customer experience from start to finish.

Don’t just take our word for it; see for yourself by watching testimonials of To Your Success clients.

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