Every business owner should be using customer reviews and these 4 selling tools. They are free and effective for building and maintaining a customer base.
- Customer Reviews. Customer reviews are HUGE! Why do you think that every major retailer uses them as part of their online product marketing? Potential customers are baited by shiny and flashy marketing but the hook is set with customer reviews. Why is this? It is because people are marketed to 1000’s of times a day and become somewhat desensitized to typical marketing. Traditional marketing is important for bringing people to the market place but, customer reviews automatically put the reader into an empathetic mind set. It causes the customer to read the review from a first-hand point-of-view. Customers also are looking for information and insight that may not be in the front-facing marketing. Customers have more confidence in other customers’ points of view than they do bias marketing. Customers will look for tidbits of information that relates to their particular situations. For example, if a customer has a bad back, do the reviews speak to comfort of the seats in the boat or to the smoothness of the ride? Or, accessibility on and off the boat? Customer reviews equals buyer confidence. Buyer confidence equals sales. Sales equals repeat business. Repeat business equals a sustainable business. Now, you want reviews but, how do you get them. Simple, just ask your customers. Also, ask previous customers to review their experience even if the trip was months ago. This gives you a chance to reach out and reconnect with customers and yet another opportunity to sell.
- Social Media. Social media is free, in most instances, and effective. It is growing in influence. It is being adopted by more demographics. How do you incorporate social media into your marketing strategy? Take an interest in your customers’ lives outside of the confines of your fishing business. Many will have facebook, twitter, a blog etc., ask for the information on your application, or in person, and follow them on twitter, send a friend request, comment on their blog. Ask about their interests and then use social media to stay in front of them. For example, if you find out that the family is heavily involved in soccer, send them a picture of the soccer team or soccer star that you took fishing. Send them a picture of a soccer ball that you found floating in the water with message that says “Reminded me about you. How’s it going?”. Send them a recipe that is fishing related. It is about building rapport.
- Multi-Media. Take lots of photos and videos while on the docks, on the boat, and even catching bait. It is all human interest stuff. Plus, you never know when a sea lion will snatch your catch out of the hands of a client or, a killer whale bites a mako shark in half, and you will want those videos. Then post the videos to your website, facebook, or youtube. Unbelievable and funny sell, and those videos will be shared and re-tweeted by more people than you could ever imagine, again placing you and your business in front of people.
- Fishing Reports. Fishing reports are probably the most sought after information for customers when researching charter trips. They want to know the When, What, Where, How and Who. A google search by a customer will often be ” Cape Cod (enter any city) April Fishing Report” The Who should always be you in your fishing reports. Your fishing reports should also cover the what( fish species) and back that up with dated photos. In a competitive business you will want to keep the where and how to yourself. The where and the how are a large part of what you are selling, your expertise. Fishing reports and social media go hand in hand. A tweet @customer or a facebook post can serve as a reminder to the customer to book their next trip.
- PHONE CALLS. I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH. During your trip with the customer try to remember or take note of something funny, an inside joke that arose, and follow up with them later on the phone and bring joke back-up. Something like, “Don’t worry John, there will be no more seagulls.” That doesn’t make sense to us, but to John and the people that saw John in a panic over an aggressive seagull trying to eat his bologne sandwich, it will get a laugh. It builds rapport. It puts your contact information at top of the customers recent calls and makes you fresh in their minds.