Last week was a reminder of how strong word of mouth referrals remain today, even in our digital-mobile world. My neighbor came over to share remodeling plans for his patio – drawn up for him by a remodeling company he discovered through conversing with a friend at a local house party (an excellent case study that is probably repeated at high-end remodeling).
I also found myself asking a friend for a plumbing company referral last week when one of my taps started leaking. I had been using different handyman before, but as you know word of mouth beats everything else, right?
But wait…there’s more to this story. As Mark Richardson, well-known author and remodeler, says… “your customers know more about you than you do”.
In both cases, after the word of mouth referral, here is what consumers will do, and what we did too.
1. Business Information: Friends don’t always have the phone number handy when referring a business. So they just say “we used Chuck the Plumber in Olney, MD” and then, naturally, we went to Google to look up the result. Do you see the local result on the right side of the search result? That is from their Google My Business page.
2. Reputation: One of the first results is their Yelp page with a 4-star rating, which we found comforting.
3. Customer Experience: We called and left a voicemail and were promptly called back on a Saturday, with an appointment scheduled for Monday morning. We were already happy with the referral because of the promptness of response and the pleasant experience.
Needless to say, they did a great job and we were glad for the referral. Imagine what would have happened if we did not find the right number for them when we searched on Google? It’s all too common to see outdated business information on the web, leading potential customers to call a disconnected phone number…and a lost opportunity for the business.
If you are curious about the remodeling referral for my neighbor, unfortunately, that was not a successful close. When they researched the company they decided to pass on the referred company and choose another with better review ratings. For a job valued at over $40K, they learned more about the business than the business themselves.
Shop your own internet footprint in these 4 ways:
- Google: Search for your name in Google and check the top results that come up for your business. Ensure the information that appears in search results is accurate.
- Local Directories: Check the accuracy of your information across more than 70 important local directories using this free tool from Surefire Local and let us know what you found.
- Reputation: Ask for a demo of SurePulse where we give you your reputation score on demand and an intelligent word cloud that instantly shows the top words your customers are using in reviews about you. SurePulse gives you access to manage your digital marketing in one place – it’s a platform you won’t find anywhere else.
- Customer Experience: Do you listen to how well your calls are being handled? Are you getting the right leads? Once again, SurePulse can give you insights into your call performance, allowing you to make changes to your processes based on this intelligence. Leads have an expiration date, so respond quickly! Coming May 2017, SurePulse will also offer a mobile app that notifies you of new leads in real-time and launches email campaigns to respond for you. You really need to see this in action!