A brand advocate can be defined as a person or a customer who is able to talk positively and in favor of a particular brand or a product and then promote it through word of mouth (WOM) messages. When you are reliant on marketing of your small business, then you need to have some realistic goals in place so that you can expand your customer base and ultimately sell more products or services. You need to invest in specific marketing strategies if you want to achieve these goals, no matter how large or small they are. You can look at different business marketing campaigns that are often low cost although without these, you run the risk of having a limited set of customers.
Below mentioned are 10 ways that can help you to turn your customers into brand advocates:
1. Excel at individual interactions
2. Engage customers via multiple channels
3. Provide a consistent, connected customer experience
4. Make it easy to do business with your company
5. Collect and then act on customer feedback
6. Connect silos to gain the most complete view of customer data
7. Involve employees in all steps of the process
8. Rethink customer service metrics
9. Evaluate cross-organizational performance around customer experience
10. Cultivate a customer-obsessed culture
How to Turn Your Customers into Brand Advocates – An Infographic
Infographic Source: tedrubin.com
If you have a brand advocate, then they are more willing to be a part of the customer experience than your day-day customers. A brand advocate can willingly contribute towards your sales due to their invested time and effort in your brand and/or service.
If you have excellent customer service throughout the business, then this is a strong starting point as many companies fall down on these crucial essentials. You also need to continually engage with your customers whether it is through social media networking, e-mail, apps, phone calls or text messages. Whatever a method is, it needs to be resilient and successful otherwise your customers may lose confidence in the messages that you wish to share out with them.
If you start engaging people on social media, be aware of any backlash that can occur if customers feel that they have not received the service that they deserved or the customer service treatment over the phone or through e-mail. It can be an open forum for complaining customers.
Customers often want to be dealt fast and in an efficient manner and that is what will show a strong set of customer service skills. You want to be able to drive home standards so that dealing with the business from a customer’s point of view is easy and secure.
You could include your customers in some of your strategies for charity related events. These could include designing some badges or custom built notepads for a set week in a color or design in order to promote the charity and the business at the same time. By raising money for charity, this will inspire your customers to be a part of the experience. Also, you need to collect customer data as much as possible to give a full picture of the customer base.
In addition, you need to involve all of your employees in the decision making processes for the business. Often, less senior members of the staff may be overlooked when they actually have the most experience and can often spot the major flaws within the business and where the weak areas are.
Employees should seek to inspire the brand / business so that they can drive forward what the customer is actually looking for, rather than what the main employer thinks they need. You may also need to focus on customer related incentives in order to keep it customer focused.
If you evaluate the organizational experience for customers, then you can consider customer facing and marketing strategies. You need to give employees modern technologies so that they can become more customer facing such as live chat and a main social networking contact center for more social engagement and interaction. Customers can be encouraged to leave feedback and to engage more with the business.
There is a customer obsessed culture that is dismissive and constructive to the point that it can become very damaging. The culture of customers need to be closely considered so that there is a differentiation with those that have older methods of business and this will fade out as time moves forward and become modernized.
By investing in the change of culture, there is a more dynamic structure and the market can gain considerable pace and favoritism in comparison to those older methods adopted by other companies.
There should be a noticeable change in the customer satisfaction surveys as customers will hopefully feel more importance and value in the process. There needs to be a strategy for dealing with customers and any feedback will need to be constructive if there are drastic changes to be made overall in the business.
In the hiring stages of new employees, there needs to be a consideration like how modern the leadership strategy is and how the movement can be enforced to bring change.
Customers who have given strong customer satisfaction ratings will continue to do so if they feel invested in and looked after. This will in turn create some advocates which are extremely enthusiastic and become very strongly represented on the social media platforms and associated content. They need to be encouraged and thanked for their contributions so that this level of advocacy can be maintained. Remember, they are voluntarily spending their time to create these posts and to update the information to this level. A customer may actually be taking a risk in promoting your business, should it be less successful in the immediate future. Any business can fail and if your customer has placed their name against the business then they may regret doing so if there is set of negative feedback left after theirs.
Therefore, your advocacies can be your assets but you must keep everything in order and keep a check on the success and integrity of your business.
Keep an eye on what the top and bottom of the pile is doing in terms of your successes and you should be on the right path to maintaining effective brand advocates for your customers.
Zahoor Bhat has over 10+ years of experience as an online editor and media manager. He has worked with major online news and content sites as a media manager. He is well versed with major content management systems and web platforms such as WordPress and social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Business, Yelp, Instagram & Linkedin. He is an expert in content creation, proofreading and finally making it live. Being a social media expert, he is able to make relations with social media influencers and make sure to generate leads and grow business via different social media platforms.