Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools that a small business can utilize. We have all heard a friend or relative share details about the excellent price they received on one of their favorite products at a local store. Sharing experiences is a natural fact of life, and you can transform your customers into your best sales force by capitalizing on those experiences.

Here are some exciting methods you can use to encourage your customers to share their enthusiasm about your organization with others.

Referral Programs

One of the best rewards you can give your customers is a free gift, service, or special savings. Give your customers an opportunity to earn such rewards by developing a referral program. Your referral program might have a variety of levels, such as a reward for three referrals, seven referrals, and 10 or more referrals.

A customer should receive a gift or service of increasing value for each tier they achieve. Any person who walks into your store is an eligible candidate for a referral program. It is an all-inclusive and creative way to expand your consumer base.

Customer Appreciation Sales

If your customers know that you appreciate them, they will return to you time and again to meet their needs. Host special events exclusively for those customers who have helped your business succeed. These events might include special savings during certain business hours, buy-one-get-one-free specials, and discounts on purchases exceeding a certain dollar amount. Your customers will gladly share their special savings with friends and family, generating an increased interest in your small business.

Family and Friends Events

If you truly want to access your customers' connections to reach a broader audience, then host a special friends and family event. Distribute coupons or buy-one-get-one-free promotions to your customers and employees that they can pass along to family members and friends.

The best way to circulate coupons for friends and family events is right at the cash register after a sale has been made. This will generate a host of new traffic for your business with the potential for building lifelong relationships.

People enjoy sharing their stories and experiences, and they are very likely to tell it to five or more of their personal acquaintances, especially if they have an incentive. Customers are a valuable marketing tool that can help your business through word of mouth.