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How to measure new business from word of mouth

Here’s a quick trick to make sure you’re accurately understanding where your customers come from.

On your order forms or contact forms, you should be asking "Where did you hear about us?"  But most companies mix up a bunch of things that muddy the picture.

  1. Make sure word of mouth is an option 
  2. Use consistent terms for all kinds of word of mouth.  "From a friend’ – "From my doctor" – "From a blog" are all forms of word of mouth. 
  3. Clarify online sources.  "From Google" or "Online" tells you nothing. Ads and official web sites are marketing-driven sources. Customer reviews, blogs, and wikipedia are word of mouth sources.

If you do this right, you’ll have question that clearly divides your sources of customers by word of mouth vs. advertising.

How did you hear about us?

    o Catalog
    o Banner ad
    o Advertisement on a search engine
(word of mouth)
    o Customer review
    o Personal web site or blog
    o From a friend
    o Co-worker

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  1. Mark Riffey December 28, 2007 at 11:48 am #

    Good stuff.
    A few means of measuring referrals in pass around items would include special URLS, fax/phone numbers, PO Box/Suite numbers on response materials.

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