In the years before TV and the internet, many businesses relied on word of mouth to spread awareness and reach more customers. You might have read a review of a local restaurant in the paper, or hear a friend speaking about the fantastic meal they ate there, but you wouldn’t have had unlimited access to information about up-and-coming brands. Today, word of mouth is just as important for businesses, except nowadays digital technology makes it much quicker and easier for people to share their opinions and make recommendations. Recommendations include positive online reviews, friend and families’ online activity (e.g. ‘liking’ a product or brand on social media), offline recommendations, and a friend or family member using a particular product. If you’re starting a business, never underestimate the power of recommendations. Keep them in mind as a vital tool when you’re planning your marketing strategy. Here’s why they’re so important.
They Instill Trust
We humans are social creatures, meaning we rely on approval and confirmation from others to make many of our day-to-day decisions. Recommendations from our friends and family, as well as trusted online sources, are one of the most powerful forces behind our purchasing behaviour. A good recommendation makes your business more trustworthy and encourages customers to want to be seen using your product and engaging with your brand.
They Bring a Personal Touch
In a world of increasingly faceless corporations, human recommendations – especially when done face-to-face – bring a little humanity back into the consumer’s experience. Quite rightly, most customers look to one another for honest, reliable information, rather than the claims of the company they’re buying from. By acting on a positive review or recommendation, the consumer feels they are making the decision of their own accord, giving the sense that they have more autonomy over their spending.
They Impact Every Stage
Recommendations have a significant influence at every stage of the purchasing process. Right from the initial awareness of a product or service, to the browsing and comparing, and finally onto the purchase decision at the end, there’s no limit to how powerful recommendations can be. This is true no matter when they’re acted upon.
Asking for Them Improves Trust
Even the act of asking your customers to recommend you makes you seem more relatable, more open and more confident in yourself as a business. It’s not difficult to request recommendations, and most people will give a positive response, as long as they are indeed happy with your service! If you can secure some solid recommendations for your company by persuading your happy customers to actively recommend you to their friends and family, you’ll get some free promotion that could seriously boost your business.