Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategies

The art of word-of-mouth marketing has transcended time and technology, remaining a potent tool for business growth. There is immense value in positive patient experiences shared among friends, family, and communities. Check out how to effectively use word-of-mouth marketing to propel your physical therapy practice to new heights. It’s the low-hanging fruit you don’t want to miss out on. Of course, marketing can support this — and if you have questions there, we can help. 

If you have started a company or have an existing business with ambitions of growth, you need customers. That includes both new and existing customers and with ever-increasing distractions, it is an endless task to stay top of mind with your customers. Marketing is the tool that helps keep those customers coming, and, in my opinion, word-of-mouth is the king of them all.

Word-of-mouth marketing has been around for a long time, but it often comes in many forms. I grew my last business to $230 million and didn’t spend a dime on marketing for the first five years of growth. Understanding the various types of word-of-mouth marketing and how to tap into them will help you better utilize tools as well as help your customers help you grow.

The Original Word Of Mouth

Once upon a time, we were hunter-gatherers, and if we came across something life-threatening, then yelling at everyone else was a very effective way to market such dangers. Now, we do it at kids’ soccer games, barbecues or even standing in line at the post office. What we say to others matters. Whether it is bad or praise, it comes off as a personalized recommendation or point of caution.

We do it in almost every conversation we have. Discussions like where to eat, favorite park, favorite cheese—all of these are our preferences that we share with others. Sometimes we share it directly with someone we’re talking to, but oftentimes it is conversations that are overheard. The overheard conversations are where word-of-mouth marketing takes on a new ability to reach so many.

Digital Word Of Mouth

Social media has changed the way we talk to our friends, family, neighbors and the world. It has made the world a much smaller place. We can easily send direct messages, but instead, we share a video or picture, and the world is able to see it and thus listen in on our conversations.

This is what powers the social media marketing industry. These conversations that are open to the public are integrated with various advertising, and thus we trudge through the advertising to follow the conversations and updates.

In fact, it seems one of the most popular forms of social media marketing is “boosting” posts, so they are more often in our feed than otherwise. Of course, we can spot these advertisements, so we skip through them.

However, I believe the most powerful advertising we often don’t catch on to is when the shared post or video is a recommendation. My son and daughter now send me many videos via text message of their favorite videos that never cease to make me laugh. Those videos themselves often share a brand or idea, which is marketing.

Utilizing Word Of Mouth For Your Business

Getting your customers to talk about your business isn’t easy, but it can come from a number of methods. You could make the best product on the market, which is so superior that people want to just talk about it randomly to their friends. In my own experience, that is rare and would most likely require your product to be the elixir of life.

Short of immortality, you can also do something spectacular that makes your business stand out from the crowd. If you gave every customer a car or built a rocket to Mars, then I guarantee they won’t forget you. This, however, can be expensive and require a lot more effort than it’s worth. Shy of creating a publicity stunt, let’s look at options that might have some middle ground.

This means you still need to provide a great service or product paired with customer service as the baseline. This prevents customers from wanting to do or say anything negative, so your efforts will tend towards a positive trajectory. So the real work is around having something that is easily accessible for customers to then share with friends and family.

In the digital world, this is referred to as content and comes in many forms. It can be a video, picture, phrase or business name. If you produce it, then it gets expensive, and it’s difficult as it will be biased. Your “brand” will always be what you want it to be and not necessarily what it is to the various customers that want to share it. An example of this is an outdoor burger store that the business owner feels has the best burger in the world, but to most people, it is just average, and really why they go there is that they can bring their dog. Chances are, many of their friends also have dogs and would love to be customers knowing they can bring along their furry friend.

The uniqueness of word-of-mouth marketing is that it has to be authentic. Customers who like your business are happy to help spread the word if given the right incentives. A great way to incentivize local customers to help create and share content is by holding contests or giveaways that have prizes for the best ad created. You could also work with local micro-influencers who can create lots of content that can be shared both in their network and with others.

The benefits of both of these methods are that they create a variety of content from the customer’s point of view. Additionally, micro-creators who only have a handful of followers are looking for quick ways to make money, and they have followers who actually live within your business’s local area.

Many companies try to control their “brand” and, unfortunately, miss out on many opportunities to utilize customers’ word-of-mouth marketing. Instead, they spend a fortune advertising their biased view of their company. Allowing customers to create varying content from their perspective makes marketing simple, affordable and most importantly, effective. This is how word-of-mouth marketing can help in driving new customers and helping your business grow.

Transform your physical therapy with our efficient physical therapy marketing solutions. Elevate your reach, reputation, and impact with Perform Practice Solutions. Schedule an appointment today at (833) 764-0178 and visit our IG @performpracticesolutions

Reference: [https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/08/11/how-to-effectively-use-word-of-mouth-marketing-to-drive-sales/?sh=4b0793be1b6b]

Building Employee Experience

Providing an exceptional customer experience has become paramount in attracting and retaining clients. And it can have a profound impact on the success of physical therapy clinics. Explore the key factors that contribute to a positive customer experience below and learn how they can revolutionize your clinic’s reputation and growth.

Have more questions? We’ve run quite a few clinics ourselves — and consult on dozens and dozens more. We’ve seen a thing or two and would be pleased to chat with you about your challenges. Reach out! We are here. 

We’ve heard the adage that happy employees make happy customers, but new data reveals just how significant the impact of the employee experience is — and how to use it to unlock organizational growth.

Decades of business strategy have urged leaders to concentrate the bulk of their business efforts on the customer experience. A recent Columbia study found “that executives talk about customers 10 times more often [in earnings calls] than employees. And when they do, executives perceive customers to be analogous to opportunities and employees to risks.” And even when companies talk about a good employee-experience game, they still actually act on customer experience.

While prioritizing customers over employees can drive short-term revenue growth, it will cost companies in long-term employee retention and engagement. According to research by Salesforce colleagues and I conducted, a company could increase revenues by up to 50% by improving the employee experience.

I wanted to identify the key drivers of the employee experience in order to help executives improve it. For my forthcoming book, The Experience Mindset, my colleagues and I conducted a new study of thousands of employees and executives from around the world and across multiple industries. Using regression analysis, we pinpointed the five most important factors in creating a better employee experience:

1. Mutual trust

There are two kinds of trust: your employees’ trust in your organization and your organization’s trust in its employees.

Mutual trust results in employee empowerment. It demonstrates management’s confidence in its workforce, which fuels employees’ trust in leadership and each other. It also motivates employees, promotes creativity and collaboration, improves retention, and reduces risk aversion, all helping the bottom line. That empowerment and trust is evident at companies like Apple, where store employees needn’t request special approvals to solve many customer problems, and Ritz-Carlton, where workers can spend up to $2,000 to fix a guest issue without managerial approval.

Mutual trust also helps workers feel heard. According to McKinsey, that kind of inclusion leads to a 47% increased likelihood that employees will stay with a company and a 90% increased likelihood they’ll go out of their way to help each other.

When Clear Co, a Toronto-based financial lending firm, started experiencing hyper-growth, CEO Michele Romanow wanted to modernize its processes while maintaining its entrepreneurial culture. So she set up an email inbox with the colorful title, “The stupid sh*t we do!” and asked employees for ideas on streamlining the business and removing preventable frustrations.

According to Romanow, this simple exercise accomplished two goals. First, it gave employees a sense of ownership and involvement in improving their day-to-day lives and helping the company. Second, it created a feedback loop permitting leadership to build employee trust while surfacing and addressing issues before they metastasized.

2. C-suite accountability

Closely related to trust, C-suite accountability means ensuring company leadership is committed and responsive to both the business and its workers.

On one level, accountability is about a willingness to ask questions and actively listen to the answers. A leader can’t address employee needs they don’t know about. More broadly, it speaks to culture: An enterprise with strong C-suite accountability understands the importance of employee experience and prioritizes it.

There’s often a difference between companies’ talk and their actions. We found in our research that while 49% of C-suite executives believed their company excels at acting on employee feedback (honestly, a low number), only 31% of workers agreed. That gap can swallow growth, momentum, and talent.

Create a culture in which everyone understands that employee experience is a collective responsibility. Hilton, for example, established cross-functional teams that ensure a formal, structured way for the C-suite to keep tabs on employee experiences. As Chris Silcock, Hilton’s EVP and chief commercial officer, has observed, “How you treat your team members guides how they treat your customers.” Hilton has repeatedly been named one of Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For.”

At your company, this could look like an experience advisory board to help break down traditional barriers and facilitate brainstorming and ideation; a center of excellence to deliver best practices where there are knowledge or skills gaps; employee resource groups to provide peer-to-peer counseling and boost career development; or “voice of the employee” surveys to solicit and gather employees’ needs, wants, and expectations.

3. Alignment of employee values and company vision

Employees want to align with their company’s values, but that makes the C-suite responsible for clearly enunciating them — and then making sure corporate actions are consistent with them.

Clear goals with well-defined milestones and success metrics connect employees to their company’s mission and help them understand their role in advancing it. We found in our research that ensuring employees feel valued and core to the company vision is a significant driver of reported increases in revenue. However, only 36% of employees reported feeling that way.

A company culture that supports an experience mindset understands the intrinsic connection between what it does internally for employees and how that translates into its customers’ experiences. Airbnb, for example, hired the first head of employee experience at a major U.S. corporation, in 2013. “Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with passion,” CEO Brian Chesky wrote then in a Medium post titled “Don’t F*^k Up the Culture.” “The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing.”

Alignment is a major part of that culture, starting before employees even join Airbnb. The company conducts two separate “core values interviews” run by team members outside of the hiring function so they can assess cultural fit independent of the job opening’s specific needs.

4. Recognizing success.

As the activist and philanthropist Lynne Twist has observed, “What you appreciate appreciates.” Recognition can be a cost-effective way to boost employee engagement, which has positive spillover effects on loyalty, retention, and productivity. Workers who believe their success will be recognized are 2.7 times more likely to be highly engaged than peers who don’t, according to the employee engagement firm Quantum Workplace.

Praise is not the sum total of recognition, of course. It also involves identifying and nurturing potential, giving employees the skills needed to grow. Unilever, for example, created a leadership development program encompassing the entire organization. In leadership development workshops, employees create individually tailored “future fit plans,” each focused on a purpose that’s both important to the individual and in keeping with company goals. The result? Ninety-two percent of those who attended a workshop said that their jobs inspire them to go the extra mile, while only 33% of those who had not attended felt the same way.

5. Seamless technology to reduce employees’ day-to-day friction

Too often, executives throw technology at problems as a way to fix company performance, productivity, and costs but give too little thought to how it fits into the rest of the organization’s infrastructure, existing processes, and people’s workflows. As engineer and management consultant W. Edwards Deming put it almost 40 years ago, “Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and process rather than the employee. The role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better.”

A common employee complaint is the sheer volume of applications they need to navigate between to do their work. Enterprises use an average of more than 1,000 different applications, only 29% of which are integrated (i.e., communicate with one another).

Technology is not an end in itself but a tool for increasing productivity and reducing effort. And yet our research shows that technology is one of the most poorly rated dimensions of employee experience: Fewer than one in three employees said their company’s technology works effectively, and fewer than one in four said they’re equipped with seamless technology. Even the C-suite gets this: Only 52% of executives said that their company provides employees with tech that works effectively.

Can you imagine asking your customers to toggle between multiple tabs just to place an order with you? Probably not — most companies work hard to reduce this kind of friction for customers. Yet that’s what we ask of our employees every day when the systems they use aren’t integrated. The result is reduced satisfaction and a terrible employee experience. We must ensure that both the customer experience and employee experience get equal resources. Saving customer time nets out little or no gain if you’re shifting that effort to your employees.

Revitalize the Employee Experience

Covid-19 and the Great Resignation inspired workers to reevaluate their priorities and empowered them to act. That has spurred companies to relearn what was once a given: that their most valuable resource is their people.

What began as a wakeup call for how leaders can save their companies from a talent exodus can also be an opportunity for growth and competitiveness — but only if they learn to balance their customers’ experiences with those of their workers by focusing on trust, C-suite accountability, alignment, recognition, and technology.

These five elements are intertwined. Each builds on the others to establish a stronger employee experience and unleash new value. Happy workers make happy customers, and managing the nexus between the two will make leaders and investors happy, too.

Take your physical therapy clinic to the next level by prioritizing the customer experience. We are dedicated to selling efficient physical therapy marketing solutions and helping clinic owners achieve their goals. Give us a call at (833) 764-0178 and visit our IG @performpracticesolutions

Reference: [https://hbr.org/2023/07/5-factors-that-make-for-a-great-employee-experience?ab=HP-latest-text-3]

Why is Delegating Important?

Delegating is important because you can’t—and shouldn’t—do everything yourself. Delegating empowers your team, builds trust, and assists with professional development. And for leaders, it helps you learn how to identify who is best suited to tackle tasks or projects. Learn below why delegating is essential to scaling your business. If you need a consultation on how you can better orchestrate your staff for maximum effectiveness, we are here.

Let me ask you a question: If you left your company for six months, what would happen to it? Would it fold in your absence? Would it become a complete mess? Would it stay the same? Or, would it grow and improve while you were gone?

I imagine that most businesses would struggle (or at the very least, remain the same) if the leader left for six months, especially in the face of any period where there is a bad economy. Why? Many leaders don’t delegate properly.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Your goal as a business leader should be to create a business that could improve even if you left. If you learn to do that—in other words, learn to delegate—your business will be able to scale successfully no matter what’s happening in the world around you.

The Struggle Is Real

“Sure,” you might be saying to yourself, “I know that delegating is important. But it’s not easy!” I run more than one company myself, so I get it. Often, it feels like trying to explain how you want something done to somebody else takes more time and effort than just doing the job yourself.

On top of that, it can be hard to relinquish control because, many times, other people don’t do the job the same way you would. Perhaps they also don’t achieve the same results. That’s why many leaders end up saying to themselves, “I know this task will take up valuable time, but I better just sit down and do it myself.”

Sound familiar?

When it comes to delegating, the struggle is real. But that doesn’t change the fact that the only way to achieve the growth and success you want is to delegate. To do that successfully, you must start by shifting your mindset.

Done Is Better Than Perfect

The biggest obstacle to delegating—and it’s one that I’ve observed most founders and business leaders struggle with—is wanting 100% perfection on every single task. To overcome this, you must keep in mind that 70% of 100 is better than 100% of zero.

I am not saying that there’s anything wrong with wanting something to be perfect. In my own companies, I, too, expect perfection. But, on the way to 100% perfection, you should sometimes be willing to accept 70%. Barring any other alternative, you might even accept 30%. After all, even 30% of 100 is much better than 100% of zero.

There’s a caveat to this, of course. I suggest only applying this rule to things that are time-sensitive, important and do not compromise the quality you provide to your consumers. If a task can wait or it isn’t important, then you can wait for perfection.

Bottom line: If something needs to be done now and it will move the needle forward on your company’s growth and success, be OK with getting less than perfect. The big point here is that you can accept less than 100% perfection because you can improve the process after it starts.

Ensure Proper Resource Allocation

In my book, Exit Mindset, I frequently teach about the importance of infrastructure. A big part of infrastructure is delegating successfully to ensure proper resource allocation. This is important because when you have a poorly constructed infrastructure, you constantly encounter a host of problems that require your direct attention.

When you have a chaotic infrastructure and your resources aren’t properly allocated, you take on the high stress and long hours needed to fix things and move ahead. Instead of being the business leader, you’re the problem fixer for every little thing that goes wrong. That leaves no time for strategy. Worse, you can become so overwhelmed that you can’t even see you’re no longer in charge of the company—the company is in charge of you.

With the right resources and infrastructure, though, your situation can dramatically improve. You can delegate, which means you have time to focus on important things throughout the day. You settle into your office and it’s quiet enough for you to focus on strategy.

That’s not to say you won’t have to fix major issues from time to time, but problem-solving is no longer the day-to-day and minute-by-minute function you perform. Now you’re the leader. You’re the strategist. And most problems are being fixed by others in the company.

That frees you up to study, research and investigate your business, industry and market. It allows you to identify risks, challenges and opportunities. You can define the next destination and direct the company on a path to get there. This will pay off with profits—tangible proof that you’re doing it right.

Keep On Moving

With the right mindset and infrastructure, you can delegate successfully. Yes, it’s rare that the task will be done to perfection, but that’s OK. In my own companies, I have delegated many things—both to people and other businesses—I knew wouldn’t necessarily be completed to my personal standards.

But you know what? I also knew if I didn’t delegate those tasks and instead took them on myself, I would be wasting time or the task wouldn’t get done at all. So, I reminded myself that 70% of 100 is better than 100% of zero, and then I pulled the trigger. In those instances, I also initiated a process to improve future outcomes, and I worked to address any resource gaps.

Ultimately, as long as it doesn’t reduce the quality of the deliverable, then I believe not getting 100% from people is OK. In other words, if I can find a solution that improves my process by 70% rather than 100%, and there is no quality degradation in the client or customer deliverable, then it is an acceptable move.

Over and over, I have found that this approach leads to success. When you learn to delegate and manage your expectations and your organization’s resources properly, you and your business can get ahead of the game. And, if you’re ever asked what would happen if you left your company for six months, you would be able to confidently answer, “It will continue to grow, scale and thrive in my absence.”

Our team of experts doesn’t just know the business. We know physical therapy. We specialize in physical therapy billing solutions, virtual staffing, & physical therapy marketing services. Let’s talk! We offer a complimentary consultation at (833) 764-0178. You can also visit our Facebook page.

Reference: [https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/12/08/why-delegating-is-essential-to-scaling-your-business/?sh=4f1fd6cd1779]

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Physical Therapy Marketing Solutions

Perform Practice Solutions helps clinic owners nationwide adjust to the changing and challenging reality of practice ownership. With its innovative coaching platform, transparent billing platforms, and marketing services, Perform Practice Solutions provides frustrated and hard-working owners with an alternative way forward. It's not easy, but it is possible.