Today Sarah, Ashley and Aleks are going to talk about a fascinating new study that’s trending under the tag #ChatterMatters and how 50% of American say that yes, chatter does indeed matter!

What does this mean? Specifically, 50% of America would choose offline or online word-of-mouth advice if they could only pick one source of information when researching their purchases. Wow! That’s a very significant number, and an excellent reason to focus on experiences that will get your customers talking – what we’re calling Talk Triggers, thanks to a new project by Jay Baer that we’ll get to in just a moment!

Why Word of Mouth Matters So Much

People simply trust word of mouth more. The Chatter Matters report (and we highly suggest you read through it, as it contains a ton of useful information) points out that 83% of Americans are more interested in purchasing an item if they get a verbal recommendation from a friend or family member. And it remains a top consideration even for the youngest group of borrowers. Women, interestingly, rely on offline conversations with friends about family about 22% more than men do. However online searches are still a top method of gathering information about products, so there’s also plenty of room for online recommendations too.

What This Says About Influencer Marketing

Obviously, studies like this show why influencer marketing is becoming more popular, and provide some good evidence if you are trying to convince a customer that influencer marketing is worth their time. However, the study also shows that influencer marketing is limited: People do pay attention to opinions provided by people online, but they largely prefer to listen to friends and family, the people they trust (and the group confirms this with their own casual purchasing stories). Authenticity, in other words, remains vital – people tend to trust others when they are absolutely sure no one is trying to sell them anything.

Dealing with Customers Who Trust Customers

So, studies like this also pose some problems when it comes to traditional marketing and social media. When so much weight is posted on the opinions of relations and acquaintances, how much is a business supposed to rely on traditional marketing?

The key here is creating customer experiences that people want to talk about with others – and that leads us to “talk triggers” or the business experiences that customers will naturally talk about with others and provide recommendations for.

Knowing the Talk Triggers

You can listen to more about Jay Baer’s talk triggers concept by listening to him here, but we also want to run down some of the most important talk triggers to be aware of when dealing with customers. These triggers work best when used consistently in your marketing and interactions – and many of them depend on the local competition in your area:

  • Be more generous than customers expect: Offer unexpected discounts, deals, and free accompanying items.
  • Be more human than customers expect: Take an interest in what customers are doing, what their lives are like, what their long term goals are…and remember it!
  • Be more useful than customers expect: Offer free maintenance, on-site demonstrations, and other useful services that buyers have not encountered elsewhere.
  • Be more proactive than customers expect: Avoid being too salesy, but don’t be afraid to contact your customers and talk about what they currently need, and what their cost or supply concerns are.
  • Be more responsive than customers expect: Be fast! Show up speedily when called, arrange for fast deliveries, and generally be faster than others.

Finally, remember that there are many simple talk triggers you can quickly create on the fly. That includes making someone laugh, teaching someone a trick they didn’t know before, and inspiring someone, and other emotional moments!

We also have some more remarkable stats and stories in the full podcast, so we encourage you to take a full listen and learn even more!

Also, we’d really love to know – how are you enticing your current customers to create word of mouth buzz for your business? What word of mouth strategies have you come up with yourself? Share with us on social media @21handshake.

If you liked the episode, please take a moment to rate us 5 stars and recommend the episode to a friend who would enjoy it. Until next time!