As marketers, it’s our job to promote our products and services to potential customers.
But what if our customers believe in us so much that they did some of the heavy lifting for us?
We all strive to make our customers happy but the effort shouldn’t stop there. When a brand takes active measure to turn satisfied customers into brand advocates, they make a huge impact on brand loyalty and customer experience. After all, your best salesman is a happy customer!
Here are five ways to turn your customers into brand advocates.
1. Build Your Brand Around Your Core Values
If you build it, they will come. Taking care of your customers starts with taking care of your people! If employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and that they make a difference, they will share the love.
It all starts with your company culture and core values. Instill those in all of your team members to ensure a positive, consistent experience with your company.
2. Take Care Of Your Customers By Personalizing Their Experience
Take care of your customers and they will take care of you. These days, good customer service doesn’t end with a friendly interaction and problem resolution.
Personalize a customer's experience, always address them by name, learn about them, what they like, how they prefer to communicate and always keep them in the loop. If you maintain an open line of communication and keep them updated, you’ll build trust.
3. Create A Referral Program
Word of mouth is still a very powerful marketing tool! While this may have evolved to include reviews on social sites and forums, the impact is still clear.
Consumers want to know they are working with reputable companies and will look to friends and social media to confirm this. Referral programs create a win-win situation for customers who are already using (and loving) your product or service. Make sure your incentive matches your industry and the effort they have to put in to get you that referral.
Here's one example of a customer referral email.
4. Ask For Feedback (And Implement It)
Nobody is perfect, and we might not be able to see the struggles our customers go through every day, so ask them!
Remember not to take it personally if you hear negative feedback. Instead, look at it as a learning opportunity and a chance to improve your customers’ experiences.
Using an anonymous survey system could help you get a greater number of responses. Nobody likes to be a Negative Nancy, so knowing you won’t know who said, “I hate your coffee” or “Your office smells funny” will make it a lot easier for them to give feedback.
Most importantly, implement the feedback you get! If 50 percent of your customers hate your payment processing portal, think about revamping it.
5. Educate Your Customers
This one is especially relevant service for client-facing companies. It is one thing to tell your customers what you are doing and another to tell them why. Doing this will help them develop a greater appreciation for you.
With the world of knowledge at our fingertips, customers expect to be kept in the loop — all the time. Think about that Domino’s Pizza Tracker. Pretty cool. But if we take it one step further and educate your clients, you are helping put their mind at ease and reminding them what your true value is to them.
Creating brand advocates out of your customers is not a quick task. It takes years of practice and a solid foundation of values to create a customer experience everyone will love!
As technology continues to fuel our interactions and businesses, it becomes even more important to personalize our customers’ experience.