Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WOMOW Re-Launching as Word Of Mouth Online - WOMO!

We have an announcement to make...WOMOW is about to become WOMO - Word Of Mouth Online! We'll soon be rolling out some changes that give us a new name and a brand new look.

Why? We've learned that two W's in a word is one too many and we're sick to death of people getting the name wrong! So we've shortened our name to Word Of Mouth Online Pty Ltd or WOMO - which is exactly what we're all about. We're now leaner, cleaner and with a lot more spunk.

Check out our new logo below...
We hope you'll agree that our new look is much more current and professional. We're sticking with the distinctive orange (that most of you love and a few of you hate), and in the process, we're introducing some new features to improve the experience for both members and businesses.

Check out our new home page below:

In this process, we've taken on board the feedback that we've received from many businesses and made quite a lot of improvements. For instance, businesses using WOMO's Happy Customers Program will be able to;
  • Control first impressions by choosing your favourite review to appear first
  • Include incentives on Review-Us Flyers to encourage more reviews (a sure fire way to drive more reviews)
  • Feature your Deals or Special Offers throughout the WOMO website where people are looking for businseses like yours. These will appear on your Cross Advertising which will be more prominent.
  • Access re-styled, re-vamped flyers, stickers and certificates to promote your business.
  • Have a much cleaner, more professional looking profile with more images and less WOMO branding. It's a real "Brag Page" you can use to let the world know how great your business really is! See an example of a new profile below:

Don't worry - all of your existing links will still work. We'll also send you more details in the next few days.

If you've ever thought of joining the Happy Customers Program, it's now better than ever!

This new site is something we've been working on for a while so we're very excited to release it to you. And if you notice anything that seems strange or in error, please let us know. (We're all about customer feedback - literally!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Can Businesses Review Themselves?

This post has been moved to www.womo.com.au

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why Advocates Recommend Brands: What's in it for the reviewer?

Let's face it, the holy grail of marketing is positive word-of-mouth. Particularly when it's online.

Why? Because when word-of-mouth is online it has a FAR greater reach as the internet serves as an amplifier to reach significantly larger audiences. Did you realise that over 80% of all purchases start with a search on the internet, AND 78% of consumers trust online recommendations above ALL other marketing and advertising? (Nielsen research)

All good and well, but how do you get some customer love? Why would anyone bother recommending your business? Thankfully the researchers at Comscore, Yahoo! have recently given some attention to this question. Because the facts are that plenty of people ARE talking about businesses and brands they love - all the time. So what's motivating them to do it?

Looking down this list, there is a fair amount of altruistic behaviour - people actually want to help good businesses and inform others of the information they know.

There's also some ego-drivers here - evidence that people like to be seen as the influencers and sources of information and advice for others. Nothing wrong with that! In fact, that's what defines the "advocates" or "key influencers" for your business.

So business owners...what can you actually do with this information? Appeal to these natural drivers, that's what!
  • Let customers know how much reviews help other people (how happy they are when they find a great business, and by helping them avoid bad experiences)
  • Let customers know how much reviews help your business, and how much you appreciate anyone that reviews you (you won't sound desperate, you'll sound honest)
  • Let customers know that literally thousands and thousands of people are using reviews everyday to help them make decisions (Australian's refer to WOMOW for advice about 25,000 times a day!)

Plus, check out our 12 Tips for Getting More Customer Reviews here...

Source: Yahoo / ComScore Networks study

Monday, September 19, 2011

Domino's Pizza Shows Reviews at Times Square, New York

Taking transparency to new heights, Domino's Pizza chain recently ran an enormous advertisement out of its customer reviews.

Customers loved seeing their reviews displayed and more importantly, Domino's showed the world that they are serious about listening to customers and providing a great experience.

The campaign was part of a turnaround following poor feedback about their pizzas and effectively communicated the subsequent improvements they made. The reviews were filtered for language, but not for sentiment. Domino’s spokesman Chris Brandon says about 80% of the feedback on the billboard was positive.

While this campaigning is somewhat extreme, it does show just how influencial top marketers believe reviews to be. For most businesses a live billboard is out of the question, but are you showing your reviews on your website*? On Facebook or other social media (why not post updates/tweet about each new review)? In your quotes / proposals? As part of your email signature?

Consider how you can get more leverage from your positive reviews...

*In case you missed it, WOMOW has a widget to display a live feed of your reviews on your website. See an example here and email us for your unique code (it's just a single line of code you add to your website).

A Strong Online Presence is Fuelling our Growth

Sorry - this post has moved!
Please click here to find it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why Word-of-Mouth Online Works

Many small businesses we speak to are somewhat daunted by terms like 'word-of-mouth online' and 'online reputation'. Or they think it's not relevant for them. Or they know that word-of-mouth is powerful, but don't know how this relates to their own marketing activities.

Before you flick the page thinking this is not for you, word-of-mouth marketing does NOT need to be a kooky stunt / viral video / give away product / or even an amazing campaign. Instead, it can simply be a consistent effort to get people talking about your business - and in the case of online word-of-mouth - doing that talking online.

In my mind, word-of-mouth marketing is undoubtedly the most powerful way for small and medium businesses to build a great reputation (by the way, this is what big business calls 'their brand'). It's a substitute for spending large amounts of money on mainstream media to generate awareness and preference for your business.

If you think about it, online word-of-mouth is perfect for most businesses. Let's break it down;

Question 1: Where is your market looking?
Answer: The Internet.

In fact, Neilsen Netratings research found that more than 80% of all purchases for goods and services start with a search on the internet, for both home and business! Did you realise that people are using the internet to find hairdressers, plumbers, mechanics, restaurants, online shops, accountants, travel destinations, dry cleaners, wedding services, doctors, gardeners, childcare - YES EVERYTHING! Even if you don't turn to the internet for everything, there's a good chance many of your target market does.
Adam Adler from ADM Motors quipped: "I never thought that so many people would be looking online for a mechanic or that customer reviews could make such a difference – boy was I wrong! We provide a good service and it means that the extra care we take is paying off."
Obviously the internet is not the only place people look, but most business owners vastly underestimate the number of people searching online for their type of business.

Question 2:
Who do they trust?
Answer: Other consumers.

This is why it is soooo important to build up a glowing reputation online.

The researchers at Nielsen also found that: 78% of people trust consumer recommendations above ALL other types of advertising and marketing. And eMarketer found that: Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted -- nearly 12 times more -- than descriptions that come from businesses.

That's right. Reviews are more believable than advertising. Or, as one business put it: "When you tell people how good you are, it's bragging; when other people say it, it's proof." Plus, the more reviews there are, the more trust consumers place in them. At WOMOW, we see a 'tipping-point' at around 10 reviews.
Dee Davies from The Clear Skin Clinic explains that for their business; "Once [people] read what our customers say about our services, they feel like they’ve found the right place and make an appointment straight away."
And Chris Dimos from Mr Verandah concurs; "The people that come to Mr Verandah from WOMOW just want to go ahead straight away. They don't need to go through the whole trust-building stage as they already see us as experts in our field. Word-of-mouth is a really good way of marketing our business - it fits really well with our business philosophy of letting our work speak for itself."
Businesses that view online word-of-mouth as too hard or not relevant, are really missing out. When people's recommendations are online, they reach millions of people, and most importantly, they reach them at exactly the right time - when the prospective customer decides they need your type of business and starts their research online.
Even boring businesses can create great word-of-mouth!
If you're interested in generating online word-of-mouth for your business, check out our Happy Customers Program here.