3-Minute WOM Lesson: 3 sources of recommendations other than your customers

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Good word of mouth marketers get customers talking, great ones get everyone talking. You can do this. Here’s how to get started:

1> Your internal experts
2> Middlemen
3> Community influencers

1> Your internal experts

If you’ve earned the trust and respect of your customers, your staff can be a great source of powerful recommendations. Retailer CB2 prompts you with accessory recommendations from their designers when you add an item to your shopping cart, and Austin’s BookPeople offers detailed staff recommendations next to their favorite books. If you’ve got experts on your payroll, your customers would probably love to hear their suggestions.

2> Middlemen

Often your best talkers aren’t your customers, they’re the people who talk to your customers. A great example of this is the recent campaign to fight AIDS from the L’Oreal Foundation. They sent kits to 500,000 hair stylists that included brochures, decals, and leaflets — all designed to start conversations between the stylists and their customers about reducing the risk of H.I.V.

3> Community influencers

Make it easy for the influential talkers in your industry or community to talk about you. Give them figures, reports, samples, stats, tours, and access to your internal experts. For an example of how it can be done, check out how Sears is putting their new cameras in the hands of local bloggers and photographers.


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  1. Virtual Agent

    Those are great mediums of recommendations. Community influencers are a pretty hard bunch to please, but if you have a service that’s above standard, it won’t be hard to rally them on your brand.

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