Customer Referrals, References and Gossip
Customers! They talk. They talk and talk and talk, to anyone who’ll listen, about your company, what you’re doing for them and where you’ve triumphed or failed (!). It’s human nature to share info, good and bad, with whomever will listen.
Yet so many companies operate as if they’re in some sort of mutually agreed upon, clandestine relationship with a customer. That the customer (by dint of what — I’m not exactly sure) won’t talk shit (good) or pass customer referrals (bad).
Look, just because somebody won’t let you use their logo or participate in a case study doesn’t mean they’re not flapping lips whenever they get a chance. And if your product or service isn’t passing muster, well, let your imagination run wild about what those conversations might look like.
… if you want to be a great company someday, you have to eventually build something so good that people will recommend it to their friends – in fact, so good that they want to be the first one to recommend it to their friends for the implied good taste. No growth hack, brilliant marketing idea, or sales team can save you long term if you don’t have a sufficiently good product.”
I love this. Implied good taste. Don’t we all wish to operate at the height of implied good taste. It just sums up the modern human condition so perfectly.
So why aren’t you asking your customers what they think?
And, if you are — and it’s positive — why aren’t you asking them to share their experiences one-on-one, in speaking engagements, in written pieces, in videos, on social media? Why aren’t you compensating them for their time, their loyalty, their awesomeness?
And, if you are — and it’s negative — why aren’t you doing everything you can to fix the product or service OR your customer’s perception of the product or service to win them back? Put them on a panel to help you improve for God’s sake. Get them back in your corner.
Your customers are the key to your success — and not just through their checkbooks. It’s truly their experience with your brand, and how they choose to share it because — trust — they will share it, that will set you apart or push you down. Start the conversation with them today.