Before cash or crypto, the world knew a variety of exchange mediums. Johnny Lingo used cows. Native American tribesmen used blankets or weapons. Throughout history, we have used all kinds of things in exchange for goods and services, including precious metals, shells, clams, beads and more.
Currency is simply a medium of exchange. It’s English roots suggest teach us it’s a circulation. In order for an electrical “current” to exist, there must be a flow of energy.
The value we place on monetary currency is based on the item or service for which we are willing to exchange it. Thus, in its simplistic form, a dollar bill becomes a certificate of appreciation for the item it purchased.
Today, everything seems to be changing at a dizzying rate, including our currency. Regardless of what you call “money,” it will always reflect the value of what was exchanged. Here are three additional currencies your business cannot survive without.
First, the currency of ratings.
What’s the first thing you do when you hear of a new product or company? You Google it. What comes up next is either a currency powerhouse or bankruptcy, the balance of which hangs in the fast-typing hands of public opinion.
When your customers experience your brand, they are going to have an experience that will form opinions they hold about you. Unfortunately, the more negative the experience, the louder the customer’s voice. You may have gotten their dollar, but they have the ability to impact your global brand and, ultimately, your sales. Who gets the last laugh?
A recent survey shows that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Let that sink in. Restated: nearly everyone will trust what some stranger says about your brand just as much as someone they know. That statistic cannot get much higher. Neither can its level of importance.
No amount of brilliant marketing or deep-pocketed budgets can compete against the dreaded one-star review. Conversely, your marketing dollars can go ten times further when augmented with a five-star reputation.
Second is the currency of testimonials.
These typically reside on your website, social platforms or other areas in which you control the content. And why wouldn’t you want to display the best things people have said about you, surrounded by beautifully designed quotation mark icons. Anyone can type a nice quote, followed by a first name and last initial, but it doesn’t make it true.
Increasingly, customers are skeptical of advertisers. What you say on your website (you advertising for yourself) falls under the same category. Whether you’re 100% honest with your testimonials or not, nothing can be more legitimate than when your customers are willing to go on-camera to rave about their experience.
Video testimonials are marketing gold. Implement them into your website, run another in your next Facebook campaign and watch what happens.
Your third currency is referrals.
When you’ve managed to make your customer so happy, they’re willing to do your commercial for you, you’ve created an unlimited ATM machine.
Most companies assume their customers don’t care enough to talk about their product to their friends. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s a secret: customers, in fact, want to talk about your product or service.
Think about it. Who doesn’t like to be “in the know” during a conversation? “Hey, guys, have you seen this new app? You HAVEN’T?”
“Where have you been, hiding under a rock?”
When you’re the one introducing something of value, you’re seen by your peers as a leader. You’ve got what they don’t and everyone’s interested in what you have to say because it’s new or different. This makes you feel important, one of your fundamental human needs. It’s almost as if you are assuming some of the credit for the product.
Take a look at your products or services and ask yourself this golden question: how can we make it so valuable to our customers that they will be anxious to recommend us to their friends? When you’ve answered that questions, you’ve just given them something wonderful to talk about around the water cooler. And talk, they will.
Understandably, the backbone of business is cash flow; currency that pays the bills. But never take your eyes off the underutilized currencies that drive those dollars.