Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of marketing but still one of the most effective. 89% of us will tell our friends and family about a positive experience with a company and 38% will post about it on social media, according to research by Yonder Digital Group. However, we’re almost (84%) as likely to share a bad experience and 31% said we would flag up examples of poor customer service on social media.
There are more opportunities than ever before to share experiences – both positive and negative – in today’s connected world. So how can you encourage clients to say great things about your law firm that enhance your reputation and spread the word about the services you offer?
Be clear what you want people to say
Word of mouth marketing is all about creating a conversation. So the first step is to be clear about what you want people to say. ReferralCandy recommends having a clear vision about your brand, values and the benefits of your legal services. Hubspot suggests thinking about what specific ‘words’ you want in your ‘word of mouth’ that highlight your benefits. Incorporate these terms into case studies or invite people to give you testimonials that include them.
Encourage customers to review your service
79% of us trust testimonials and online reviews as much as personal recommendations according to Impact, so give your clients every opportunity to post feedback on your legal services. Think about all the places your customers would search online for recommendations: your website, social media (particularly LinkedIn), local directories or review sites. Ask for feedback regularly by email, phone and in your marketing campaigns. Don’t be too afraid of the occasional negative review. Yopto says they can actually have a positive effect if you handle them correctly,. The key is to respond quickly and publicly to show that you are willing to address issues.
Show your expertise
Sharing valuable information makes you valuable, according to Social Media Today. So use blogs, social media and speaking opportunities to share expertise and establish your authority. Encourage word of mouth by sparking interesting new conversations and adding value to ongoing discussions. How will topical events impact your clients? Can you help them avoid new dangers or seize new opportunities? Responding to comments also allow you to show your personality.
Offer a unique customer experience
If you want customers to rave about your service, it’s essential to give them a fantastic experience. As Entrepreneur says, you need to turn customers into fans who can’t stop talking about your service. Think how you can offer a unique, personal legal service that exceeds their expectations. What can you offer that your competition can’t and is valued by your customers?
Connect with influencers
75% of marketing professionals think that engaging with influencers can be effective in lead generation. For law firms, influencers could be anyone from existing customers to business or industry leaders. Connect with influencers with established online reputations, a large number of followers or connections and who engage in lots of conversations.
It’s not easy to create word of mouth marketing but you can create the right conditions to make it happen. When it does happen, make sure you amplify the message so it gets heard far and wide.
With trust in traditional marketing, such as advertising, declining it’s more important than ever to provide this type of ‘social proof’ that reassures potential customers that they are making to right choice when they choose your law firm.