When looking for a hotel experience, place to eat or drink soliciting the advice of friends and family has become increasingly important. According to Toast’s 2019 Restaurant Success Report 78% of restaurant diners said they're likely to base their choice on a friend’s recommendation.
So how does the way a customer finds out about you, affect their decision to spend with you?
Word of mouth stands out as the most powerful tool in marketing. While anonymous online word of mouth abounds on review platforms, 80% of users fear that they are not authentic and are aware that these reviews can be manipulated and faked.
With this in mind, trusted word of mouth from friends and family has become what 83% of individuals look to when making a purchasing decision. The effectiveness of this is fivefold:
1. Word of mouth reduces your marketing costs
Your biggest asset is your existing customer base. 50% of individuals would choose offline or online word of mouth if they had to pick one source of information. Word of mouth is essentially a free marketing tool, allowing you to create a buzz around your business.
“My business grew very organically based on recommendations and people talking about it. Everything sold out consistently without me having to do very much just growing from the buzz that the recommendations gave.” - Zoe Adjonyoh, chef and business owner.
This is even easier to capture in the online space. Use word of mouth to your competitive advantage and recoup the costs of a difficult year.
2. Word of mouth decreases customer acquisition costs
Word-of-mouth is directly responsible for 19% of all purchases and influences as much as 90%. TWISPER gives you the tools to encourage and leverage the buzz around your business coming from word of mouth. When a user recommends you on TWISPER 67% of their friends and followers are likely to spend money with you. Moreover, our commission-free Booking Button, takes your potential customers from their friend’s recommendation of your place straight to them booking a table or room at your place.
3. Word of mouth solidifies customer loyalty
The majority of customers who try out a hotel, restaurant or bar based on a friend’s recommendation are more likely to stay again. Personal experience with your brand or business is the surest way to ensure customer loyalty.
“The great thing about TWISPER being centered on sharing positive recommendations, is that it keeps the fun and experiential side of visiting somewhere or eating out at the heart. It brings back fairness and positivity to hospitality.” - Tom Aikens, award-winning chef and restaurant owner.
Customers see the experiences of their social network as an extension of their own, and thus a friend’s recommendation adds to their experience with your business.
4. Online word of mouth increases sales
Researchers have found that a simple. 66% of the population looks to online search via an app, search engine or social media accounts before they make a purchasing decision, with 99% of Millennials are more likely to choose a restaurant via browsing friend’s social media than Boomers or Gen X before they make a purchasing decision. 92% saying they trust a recommendation from friends and family over any other type of advertising, online word of mouth accelerates the decision-making process.
5. Word of mouth builds customer trust
In this current climate, where lockdowns and restrictions have paralyzed hospitality for large portions of the year, trust is still key to getting customers to come through your doors or order from you online. With customers seeking more control over their surroundings, they remain cautious as they navigate social distancing measures and hygiene protocols. The need for trust and security are driving the purchasing decisions of consumers. What better motivation for a customer’s purchasing decision, than to see their friends have been there before them? TWISPER gives you the ability to regain your customer’s confidence through personal and positive connection.
So, we’ve established how valuable word of mouth is for businesses. But how can you encourage it amongst your customers?
Make your employees the first advocates for your brand and your customers will follow. If your employees speak positively about your business, it gives customers more reason to as well.
Offer people an incentive to share a positive experience with their network. You could offer a discount for a positive recommendation or give them a tool that’s a win-win for both of you. Encouraging them to use TWISPER has lots of perks for them, including strict data privacy, competitions to win holidays and has trustworthy recommendations from our partners including easyJet Traveller, National Geographic Traveler, Michelin starred chefs, award winning bartenders and more.
Engage with your audience and recognize your customers recommendations. Keep the connection going through social media, like the photos they take of your place or the comments they make. TWISPER gives businesses the opportunity to automate a customizable Thank You Message to every customer that leaves their recommendation of your place.
TWISPER is on a mission to bring fairness and positivity back to the hospitality industry. During this unprecedented time, we hope to cast light on the grit, resilience and determination that are an inherent part of the industry. We know that these qualities will lead to recovery and restoration as we look to the future. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest industry news and TWISPER announcements.