How To Grow Your Business With Word Of Mouth Marketing | Checkatrade
Review a Trade

Have you completed a project recently? Let your tradesperson know how they did.

Advice Centre

Get Inspired! Check the latest industry expertise and read insider tips from our vetted tradespeople.

Search For A Trade

We interview and vet all our tradespeople to ensure they meet our high standards.

Join Checkatrade

Join us and benefit from the millions of potential customers who use Checkatrade to find reliable tradespeople.

Advice Centre

Grow your business! Check out top tips and expert advice for boosting your reputation online.

Login To Your Account

Edit your profile, view callback requests and ask for feedback from customers.

How to grow your business with word of mouth marketing

The benefits of word of mouth marketing quite literally speak for themselves. Word of mouth recommendations has changed over the years, did you know this? If you didn't, the blog explains all.

In this post, we’ll explain what word of mouth is, how it works in marketing, and why it’s one of the best ways to grow your business.

What is word-of-mouth marketing?

The definition of word-of-mouth marketing is when a company uses tactics to encourage customers to talk naturally about, and make recommendations for, its business.

It’s essentially a free form of advertising, as loyal and happy customers tell their friends, family, neighbours, and anyone else who’ll listen, about the incredible service they’ve received from your business.

Word-of-mouth marketing has changed

Before the internet really took off, a word-of-mouth recommendation was a family member, friend or neighbour recommending someone or something to you.

Now you can say that online reviews are the modern equivalent of a word-of-mouth recommendation by acting as an active form of social proof.

Traditional word of mouth vs Modern word of mouth

Think of the traditional word of mouth recommendation as your neighbour popping their head up over the fence and recommending ‘Roy the roofer’ for your slipped roof tiles.

There’s nothing else to go on but their word.

A modern word of mouth recommendation is digital. It’s being online and reading multiple reviews from people local to you. They’re still your neighbours, but there are many more opinions to go off.

You can take the word of multiple people rather than just one recommendation.

This modern word of mouth is what makes Checkatrade so popular for people looking for trade recommendations. Within a few clicks, your customers can see which tradespeople come highly recommended in your local area.

Be the word of mouth recommendation

Pass the checks, get your profile, start getting customer reviews

Start our checks now

Word of mouth marketing examples

Customer reviews and testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials are a great way of using word of mouth marketing to your advantage.

For homeowners looking for your services, positive reviews can help to get them over the line, to become paying customers.

The customer reviews on your Checkatrade profile work in a similar way to word of mouth marketing. Online reviews are the modern word of mouth recommendation.

Checkatrade is a way for homeowners to read recommendations from not just one neighbour, but hundreds of neighbours, helping them to find a tradesperson they can trust.

You can leave a review card upon completion of the job, or follow up with an email or text message to ask customers for feedback.

User-generated content

Think of this as the online version of traditional word of mouth referrals.

When a satisifed customer shares photos of your work on their social media platforms, tagging your business account in the image, it’s a way of them recommending you to others.

How word of mouth marketing works

Referral programs

A referral program works to reward your customers for recommending your business to others.

For example, your customer, Mrs Smith, recommends your gardening maintenance services to her neighbour, Mr Carter. When Mr Carter becomes a paying customer, you reward Mrs Smith by giving her a loyalty discount. For example, a percentage off her next invoice.

When you run a referral program, it’s important to let your customers know that you offer this loyalty scheme.

What are the advantages of word of mouth marketing?

The advantages of word of mouth marketing are vast and many.

We’re all consumers, and we’ve all experienced a situation where someone’s recommended a new product to try, a new place to eat out, or a great film to watch.

That recommendation instantly gives us a sense of trust in that brand, place, or product. In other words, we’re more likely to give it a go.

How effective is word of mouth marketing for small business?

Word of mouth marketing is a really effective tool for small businesses.

It can help to:

  • Increase the number of leads you receive.
  • Increase the likelihood of those leads turning into new business.
  • Promote greater brand awareness.
  • Help to grow your business organically.

From village to county coverage

How Ali grew his business to what it is now

Read Ali's story

We’ll let these impressive numbers from the Semrush blog explain how this form of marketing can really help to propel your business to the next level.

Word of mouth statistics

  • 64% of marketers agree that word of mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing.
  • 83% of marketers use word of mouth marketing because it increases brand awareness.
  • 90% of all purchases can be directly attributed to word of mouth marketing.
  • 96% of satisfied customers will become returning customers, and will be more likely to tell the people around them.
  • Brands that offer positive experiences receive three times more word of mouth referrals than brands who don’t.
  • 26% of people will avoid a brand altogether if their friend or family relays a negative story about their experience.
  • The average customer who had a bad experience tells eight to 16 people about it.

benefits of word of mouth referrals

Why is word of mouth marketing so important?

Word of mouth marketing is especially important for a small business, as it’s a much easier win when it comes to securing new business.

That’s because word of mouth referrals come to you as qualified leads – your previous customers have recommended you and have done much of the hard work for you in singing your praises.

It’s also a great way to build a loyal community of customers, and social proof your business.

Of course, it works both ways, and for those tradespeople not doing a good job for their customers, word of mouth marketing is proof that people talk!

If you’re looking for additional ways to promote your trade business, check out our post on marketing your business for plenty of useful advice.

How to create word of mouth marketing

If you offer great customer service and do a really good job, you’ll attract new customers naturally through word of mouth recommendations. It’ll happen ‘organically’.

However, there are ways to encourage this along.

How to increase word of mouth marketing

The best way to increase word of mouth marketing is to communicate effectively with your customers.

  • If you offer a referral scheme, make sure you tell your customers about it, either face-to-face, or when you follow up after the job.
  • If you’d like more customer reviews and testimonials, ask for them! You can ask face-to-face on completion of the job, or follow up with an email or text message.
  • With permission, post photos of work you’ve completed on your website and social media platforms. Tag your customer, and chances are, they’ll proudly share it on their own social media platforms too. This action will help to spread the content further, into new networks.

How to track word of mouth marketing

The simplest way to track word of mouth marketing as a tradesperson is to ask your new customers how they heard about you.

Keep a log of their responses to build up a picture of where your business is coming from.

Be the word of mouth recommendation

Pass the checks, get your profile, start getting customer reviews

Start our checks now


How do I promote word of mouth advertising?

To promote word of mouth marketing, you can encourage customers to leave you a review, and publish it online. When meeting a prospective new customer, mention the work you’ve done for their neighbours or within the local area.

Tell us what you think

Please note, you cannot leave a review, or contact a tradesperson by commenting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What others think of this article:

No comments yet!

More content like this

What are the best tools for carpet cleaning?

What carpet cleaning tools are essential? Carpet cleaning tools include everything from high powered...

Read more
How to create a roofing invoice for customers

Invoicing your customers Whether you’re just starting a roofing business, or you’re just learnin...

Read more
How painter marketing can grow your business

Painter marketing ideas So, what exactly is painter marketing? Marketing your painting business is a...

Read more