Local businesses rely on “word-of-mouth” referrals as their most efficient and profitable form of advertising. Millions of WOM referrals “just happen” every day as people talk to people.
So WOM must be a very simple process – right? Let’s break down the steps involved in a typical WOM referral. Then you tell me:
1. Consumer A must have established trusted relationships with at least one local Business.
2. Consumer A must have relationships with Consumer B in same locale
3. Consumer A must have contact with Consumer B
4. Consumer B must have a need for service of local Business
5. The topic of conversation must arise relating to Consumer B’s need for the services of Business
6. Consumer A must decide that it is acceptable to recommend the services of their trusted Business
7. Consumer A must transmit local Business’s contact information to Consumer B
8. Consumer B must retain Business’s contact information
9. Consumer B must retrieve Business’s contact information
10. Consumer B must contact Business
And – bonus steps:
11. Consumer B must notify Business that referral was made by Consumer A
12. Business rewards Consumer A
While this process occurs millions of times each day, it is surprisingly complex and contains multiple critical dependencies. It is also largely random. Its success is testimony to the efficiency of our network of friends and neighbors as means of sharing information.
YouGottaCall.com can be used in a number of ways to find or share information on trusted local businesses. Our goal is to increase the efficiency of the WOM process by making it systematic.
Its “direct referral” process mirrors the above steps like this:
1. Member A has a trusted relationship with at least one local Business.
2. Business is a Member of YouGottaCall
3. Member A has relationships with a Consumer in the same locale
4. Member A has contact with Consumer
5. Consumer has a need for service of local Business
6. The topic of conversation arises relating to Consumer’s need for the services of Business
7. Member A recommends the services of the trusted Business
8. Member A sends local Business’s contact information to Consumer
9. Consumer registers as Member (B) and contacts Business
10. Business receives information and contacts Member B
And – bonus steps:
11. Business automatically knows that referral was made by Member A
12. Business pays a voluntary reward that goes to Member A’s and B’s designated charities.
We can’t always improve on Nature – but we can copy it. As used above, YouGottaCall mirrors the steps in the natural, person-to-person, word-of-mouth referral process. But it also increases efficiency by eliminating the loss of contact information and automating the tracking and reward processes.
YouGottaCall can also be used like a search engine for “indirect referrals”. In this mode, the major benefit of YouGottaCall over search engines is the use of trust – not just algorithms - to find local service providers. It works like this:
1. Member A has a need for service
2. Member A searches YouGottaCall.com for local Business Members that provide this service
3. Member A locates a Business that is trusted by connected Member B
4. Member A buys from Business
And – bonus steps:
5. Business automatically knows that referral was made by Member B
6. Business pays a voluntary reward that goes to Member A’s and B’s designated charities.
YouGottaCall.com’s patent pending process is a Connection Engine (Connect-gine™) that amplifies our social connections to improve our ability to find trusted, local service providers. For an illustration, view our slideshow.
Our vision at YouGottaCall.com is to “Reward the community by empowering trusted relationships.” We:
• enable consumers to share valuable information;
• reward trusted businesses with high quality referrals; and
• support not-for-profits in their missions to benefit the community.
Your input and involvement is welcome as we grow our test market in greater-Hartford, CT. If you’re in Connecticut, please feel free to get your Connect-gine™ started today. If not we hope you will be patient until we’re operating in your region.
Please feel free to comment or contact us.
- - Tim