Please Don’t Gag Your Customers

Eric Welke Best Practices, Customer Experience, General, Guides, Legal, Online Reviews, Reputation Management, Small Business Leave a Comment

It’s often easier to learn from bad examples than from good ones.  Sometimes we learn best when seeing what not to do, instead of what to do.  This applies across all aspects of life, from relationships to parenting, and especially to business. This post is about one way not to manage your business’ reputation.  That is, unless you want the Federal Trade Commission knocking on your door. Which probably isn’t in the best interests of your company.  I take it as a given that you are already actively managing your business’ reputation online.  If not, I humbly suggest you start. The Gag Clause One of the worst ways to actively manage your reputation is through the use of gag clauses, also known as non-disparagement clauses.  These are contract stipulations that threaten legal or other punitive action against a customer if they make negative comments about a business’ services or products …

The Referral Marketing Management Guide

Eric Welke Best Practices, General, Guides, Referral Marketing, Small Business Leave a Comment

“If you build it, they will come.” Even if you have never seen Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, I guarantee you have heard those words.  Now, that may be a compelling reason to build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa, it is not, however, a sound business practice. Unfortunately, that is how a lot of businesses approach referrals and referral marketing. What is Referral Marketing  Referral marketing is the intentional approach to developing more referrals from your existing customers.  It is a part of a wider concept known as word-of-mouth marketing, which is separate from traditional marketing such as print or TV advertising. McKinsey notes the importance of word-of-mouth marketing stating that it is a primary factor behind 20-50% of purchasing decisions.   They classify three different types of word-of-mouth communications.  They are: Experiential – which accounts for 50-80% of word-of-mouth activity.  This results from a consumer’s direct …