Why your best talkers aren’t always your best customers

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Finding your best talkers helps you figure out where to put your resources to most efficiently grow your word of mouth. While loyal customers may be your biggest fans, they’re not necessarily your biggest influencers.

Here are some reasons why sometimes the people who will talk about you the most aren’t customers:

1. They work for you
2. They just met you
3. They love you, but can’t afford you

1. They work for you

Your employees can be great talkers even if they’re not on your PR team. For example, meter readers at We Energies in Wisconsin have given away cookies and cookbooks since 1928. Apparently, it’s a big deal to their customers — they run out of cookbooks to hand out every year. When’s the last time you felt warm and fuzzy about your meter reader?

2. They just met you

People don’t rave about their usual place for lunch. But, they tell everyone about the new restaurant they went to for the first time. Your most powerful advocates may be these first-time customers. At Buca di Beppo, they always ask if it’s your first visit. If it is, they’ll give you a grand tour of the place (they have some interesting stories behind their decor that you wouldn’t know otherwise). This makes for a remarkable first impression and inspires people to bring along friends who haven’t been there before.

3. They love you, but can’t afford you

The guy who watches Top Gear by night and drives his Corolla to work by day is an example of these kinds of fans. They’ll wear your logo, talk about you with friends, and defend your brand fiercely — but they’ll never buy your product. Make it easy for these fans to spread their love. Create a page for logos and banners to copy and paste cleanly, make a store for your gear, and give them opportunities to come together for events. Don’t assume the customer who spends the most money will be your biggest talker. Sometimes it’s fans, not buyers, who are the word of mouth drivers.


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  1. Mackenzie

    Ah, so true…and yet so overlooked. Thanks for the raw perspective.

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