Whether you are a pediatric dentist, a home service contractor or owner of an auto dealership–you’re busy doing what you’re good at. It doesn’t matter if you are perfecting someone’s smile, adding a skylight to a living room,  or selling a couple their dream car. Marketing probably isn’t the main part of the job description, right? Luckily, there’s a solution: customer-driven marketing. 

Sure, you might be that unicorn who runs her dental practice by day and is an Instagram influencer by night. Or you might be wishing on a star that Mary Poppins comes in to save the day. The good news is you don’t need Mary Poppins. All you need is customer-driven marketing.

What is customer-driven marketing?

Customer-driven marketing is your current customers talking to your future customers. Simple as that. Customer-driven marketing is important because there is increased consumer sensitivity to non-authentic marketing messages. Today consumers want to trust people who are like them: people looking to buy the same product or service as they are.

So now that you’re convinced on the merits of customer-driven marketing, how do you do it? Here’s how:

Five Steps to Success

  1. Identify the most critical points in the sales and delivery process for customer experience and satisfaction. (Examples: when customers enter the store, or after speaking to a sales representative)
  2. Coach and train your staff to deliver excellent service and experience at each of these critical points. And use customer feedback to monitor and provide teachable moments to your entire staff.
  3. Ask your customers to leave an online review at all major points in the customer journey, after they have given feedback. (Examples: a hotel might ask for a review after checkout. A contractor may ask for Google reviews after he’s completed the remodel.)
  4. Respond to all reviews in a timely fashion. Today’s consumers not only read reviews, but they also read the responses. It doesn’t matter how good or bad or mixed a review is. What matters to those who left it and those who ultimately read it is that your business cares to read and respond as well.
  5. Share your reviews widely–from Facebook to email blasts to sales materials, to websites, blogs, social networks, and beyond. Shout those praises from the rooftops and share your best reviews as often as possible. This will not only signal to consumers that your business cares, but they will also be picked up by search engines and improve the ranking for your business as well.

You don’t need Mary Poppins. You’ve got the power of your customers behind you. It’s up to you to use that power to grow your business and delight your customers at the same time.

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