Friday, September 23, 2011

Word Of Mouth Advertising

The very best form of advertising is word of mouth. You just cannot beat it when someone recommends your product or service to someone. This gives your shop an endorsement of someone who has dealt with you. This is the kind of advertising that we all want. How do you get it?

It does not matter if you are in front of your customer at a show or emailing half a world a way, there are some important things to always remember. The customer may not always be right, but they should always be treated with respect. You cannot make every customer happy but it should be your goal to always try.

Always be up front with them. If you set a time for delivery of a custom product, either deliver on the day stated or contact them BEFORE the deadline to let them know if there is a problem and find out how they would like you to proceed. People are much more forgiving if you let them know that there will be a delay before a deadline. That way, if the item was a gift or time sensitive they have time to figure out if they will have time to get it to the recipient or if they need their money back. Even if you end up issuing a refund, chances are you have not burned any bridges and the customer will remember your honesty and order from you again one day.

The point is, you must go above and beyond at every step of the way to help your customer to remember just how good you and your product are. The better you treat them, the more likely they will be to spread the word. I leave you today with a few tips that may not always help but surely couldn't hurt.

1. Put more than one business card in every order you send out, especially during the holiday season.

2. Take the time to write a thank you note in every order. If your handwriting is hard to read, at least print off a note. Either way, sign it by hand.

3. Offer a discount code to customers that spend money with you. If they buy a $2 product or if they buy a $500 product. 10% off isn't going to break the bank for you and it could mean a repeat customer.

4. Answer questions as soon as you get them.

5. Ask your customer if they would like to be added to your mailing list for snail mail or email or both. Believe me, getting a Holiday card in the mail will be something your customer will remember forever.

6. Follow up. After you are sure the package has arrived, send an email asking how they liked the product and maybe remind them to enter some feedback for you.

7. Be polite. If you are a grumpy person before coffee, answer emails after coffee.

Please feel free to help add to this list with some comments.


  1. great tips, thanks for sharing. I always wonder if it is worth the time to handwrite a thank you and then when I get one I am reminded of how much I appreciate it.

  2. I love these tips!!! Thank you as always for posting. :)

  3. This is a great reminder of the process and of what we would love to have as customers. Thanks for taking the time.

  4. I really like #3. I've done it to the extent of giving select repeat customers who spend *BIG* bucks at my shop, ##% off for life. They keep coming back and we both have smiles on our faces!

  5. I like particularly #7. LOL I definitely need coffee first thing in the morning. Great post!

  6. Word of mouth works! I recently arranged to do a custom piece of work for someone and she emailed me back yesterday saying that a friend of her's fell in love with a print that is in my shop, and asked if I could send it along with the custom piece :)

    Being up front is so difficult, especially when it comes to arranging payment and whatnot, but it is totally worth it. I just use my husband as a sounding board to see if what I have typed up is as polite as I think it sounds.

  7. Thank you, I always get great advice from here. These are definitely good advice

  8. Great article!
    Customer service is always important, but particularly during the holidays when both buyers and sellers are getting frazzled. Good customer service could make the difference between you and another shop in the buyer's eyes.

    I have always included a 10% coupon with my shipments. Recently I added a referral bonus in my 'notes to buyer': If a buyer refers someone to my shop and they purchase something and mention who referred them in 'notes to seller' the original buyer will get a personal one-time coupon for 25% off. No takers yet, but we'll see.

  9. Great article! I already do most of these tips but the one I really need to start doing is adding a hand written thank you card in all of my orders! I always put a discount 10%coupon in and have yet to see anyone use it, maybe they will over the holidays.

  10. As per usual, this information always is spot on. It's a good reminder of things that we as businesses should be doing anyway. Thanks.

  11. Great tips! We've had many returning customers or customer referrals by sending personal notes, responding to e-mails quickly etc... We also recently began adding 2-3 business cards with each purchase instead of just one. It truly makes the difference when you make the customer feel special!