Referrals And Word-of-Mouth In The Software Industry
Written by Megan Ruttell
Locked in-doors. Curfew. Social distancing. All of these factors have become such an enormous reality for us over the past year. People returned to their hometowns, shops closed their doors and laptops opened in order to adapt business models to working online.
A recent publication “Digital screen time during COVID-19 pandemic: A public health concern”, (Abida Sultana, Samia Tasnim, Sudip Bhattacharya, Md Mahbub Hossain, Neetu Purohit), gives us statistics on the increased screen-time across different populations and what the implications have been on people’s health and wellbeing as a result.
In Canada, a study was conducted on 254 families. It reported that mothers, fathers and children saw an increase in screentime of 74%, 61%, and 87%, respectively (Carroll et al., 2020). Another study recruited 4108 participants from nine European countries and found a 65% increased screen time among the participants during this pandemic (Pišot et al., 2020).
There is abundant evidence that shows how more people are now looking at their phones instead of building connections and relationships amongst their peers. You may be thinking, in what world does this relate to referrals? But my question to you is, “how often have you called a friend or colleague, during this time, just to find out how they are and what they are up to?”
The basis of referrals begins with human connection and taking a genuine interest in the lives of others. This kind of conversation facilitates the foundation to identify ways of helping each other. But instead of picking up the phone and chatting to a friend that you may not have caught up with for the last 6 months, we remained transfixed by our devices. And in that 6 month period, you may have lost out on the opportunity to help solve a problem with a service offering that your business provides.
A study conducted by Neilsen concluded that 92% of consumers trust a message from a referral from a friend as opposed to social media.
Referrals and word-of-mouth are more important than ever to sustain businesses through such unpredictable social and economic times. Word-of-mouth remains one of the most powerful and effective marketing tools for any company and my ultimate recommendation would be to stop scrolling, dial a number and get chatting!
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