Do you give people a reason to talk about your you or your organization? This is one of the most fundamental and critical components of any word of mouth marketing (WOMM) campaign. It is the shareable topic you provide people, and it can be as simple as a clever name for a menu item, good customer service, a small take-away item for customers or secret sale.
Owner and Executive Chef at LGO Hospitality, Bob Lynn, who operates several restaurants throughout Arizona and California including La Grande Orange, Chelsea’s Kitchen, and Radio Milano, has focused on integrating this imperative WOMM element into almost every aspect of his business.
“We try to do a lot of things, like giving away cookies at the door,” Lynn said. “It’s funny how people pick up on things – the littlest details. Particularly at LGO, it’s about the details.”
He said at each restaurant it’s all about the details in everything from the “live,” fresh food to the hand-selected and mixed music, and even the sound system.
“Every part of the business is all hand selected,” he said. “Those are things we don’t promote, but can see it creates an insider loyalty. We feel like we build our business on our repeat business. All of those details add up to people.”
At La Grande Orange they started to notice repeat diners would bring in friends or family members and point out the cookies as they were getting up from their tables to exit.
“Some details mean more to others,” Lynn said. “We believe in focusing on all of them. It’s a big part of our core. It takes more effort. It’s not as predictable and I think people feel that extra effort.”
Another example is the slips of paper Postino provides on the tables for gum chewers – a small gesture with a big impact for those who don’t have a place to put their gum.
Other businesses have caught on as well. Pure Sushi South in Scottsdale built a cell phone booth so diners could take their calls in privacy. Toyota appealed to pet owners with a full line of aftermarket pet products for its Venza. And at Noca in Phoenix it’s not uncommon to receive an amuse bouche, a table-side visit from the owner, and a giant bowl of cotton candy after dinner.
What can you do today to get people talking? Maybe it’s offering hand sanitizers for diners in your restaurant (those concerned about the swine flu will appreciate it), or going the extra mile when it comes to customer service – be that cable company, that instead of making customers wait out a five-hour window, you specify a time and show up at that time. Or simply start with hand-written thank you notes to your clients.