Positive word of mouth can catapult a company to new heights of success. As important as it is, it’s not something that’s guaranteed to happen. Even if your business provides amazing products and services, you may struggle to get customers to pass along positive information to friends, relatives and acquaintances. For this reason, it’s worth it to explore as many referral marketing strategies as possible. What works for one company may not work for another, so the process of elimination is usually necessary. A great way to find out what works and what doesn’t is by using these techniques while chatting online with prospects. Some of the best ways to do so include:
- Build Trust – This tip seems basic enough, but many companies completely overlook it. When someone initiates a chat with one of your company’s representatives, he should immediately feel that he’s speaking to someone who he can trust. Therefore, your reps should be knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. They should demonstrate that they are not only authorities on your company’s products and services, but they should also show that they are truly committed to providing impeccable customer service. Without establishing trust, your representatives will struggle to make effective use of any referral marketing techniques they try. While training your reps, emphasize the importance of establishing trust with prospects. When that is accomplished, everything else will fall into place.
- What Problem Needs to be Solved? – Many times, people use live chat to ask questions about products and services. That’s great, but they often fail to explain the exact nature of the problem they’re trying to solve in the first place. Find out why a prospect is considering your product or service. What need is she trying to fill? What problem is she trying to solve? By having prospects explain their side of the story, your reps will have an easier time explaining how your products and services can help. At the same time, your reps should ask prospects if they know anyone else who can benefit from these products and services.
- Encourage Social Media Sharing – If you don’t already have a social media marketing campaign in place, you should create one right away. Social media is a powerful tool to use in your referral marketing efforts, and you can promote your social media activities through live chat. There are plenty of opportunities for promoting social media profiles during live chats. For instance, a customer who is interested in upcoming sales can be given the URL of social media profiles to stay on top of such news. Someone who is ordering a product can be encouraged to share a link to it to his social media network. There’s no need to do a hard sell here. Your reps can just casually mention the existence of your company’s social media profiles, and prospects can take it from there.
- Offer Incentives – Come up with some incentives to offer to people who refer people to your business, and make sure that your reps promote these incentives aggressively. A great example is to offer a special coupon for every person who mentions the customer’s name at checkout. Regardless of why the prospect has initiated the chat session, your rep should come up with a way to offer an incentive for referring others. This will only work if your reps are very familiar with these incentives and understand how they can benefit your customers. Furthermore, your company must follow through. If you fail to make good on your promises, you will alienate people and lose business.
- Ask Prospects to Share Positive Experiences Online – It’s a sad but true fact that people are more likely to share negative experiences online than positive ones. You can help buck this trend by having your reps encourage people to share the positive experiences they’ve had with your company on social media. Some people will happily do this simply by being asked, but it’s smart to offer some kind of perk to increase the odds that it will actually happen. On a site like Twitter, for example, instruct prospects to use a special hashtag when posting positive comments about your company. You can then reward them with a special discount or some kind of freebie.
Get the Most Benefits from Live Chat
The more people refer their friends and acquaintances to your e-commerce business, the easier it will be to grow and expand it. Expecting people to voluntarily pass along positive word of mouth isn’t practical. Some people certainly will, but it is in your company’s best interests to have a clear referral marketing strategy in place. Whether you currently do or still need to create one, promoting it through live chat is an excellent way to go. It doesn’t require a lot of extra time, effort or money, and it can give you an amazing return on your very modest initial investment.
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