To be successful in the twenty-first century, companies must find creative ways to transform customers into lifelong purchasers and diehard advocates for their brand. What’s the best way to do this?
1. Keep Your Customers Happy. -The whole idea behind turning your customers into brand advocates relies on your ability to understand, implement and address four key factors:
a. address issues directly and quickly – when a customer complains on one of your local Facebook pages about how bad their experience was, RESPOND! The sooner you respond, the easier it is to right the wrong they experienced.
b. have a product that fits their needs – whether your selling phones or food, make sure you show the customer that your product is a necessity for their everyday lives.
c. provide an exceptional user experience – it’s a new era and technology has limited constraints on what you can do. Utilize personalization on content, localization and segmentation to directly address the individual who is interacting with your brand.
d. deliver a promise – make customers feel confident that your company as a whole can deliver the results the customer wants. Don’t just meet customer expectations but exceed them.
Customer satisfaction is about being able to create a relationship with your customers and forming a connection with them.
2. Build a Community. -One of your main goals should be about making consumers feel special by treating them as if they are the only one. In order for them to bend over backwards for you, you need to do the same for them. This all starts with making a connection. This can be done through various mediums including social media interaction, following up with an email or phone call after a customer makes a recent purchase, or just saying “hey”. Advocates want to know you’re doing more than just silently observing them or commercializing the relationship. Instead share “insider” information or offer a preview of what new products are being developed for THEIR needs.
3. Participate in Social Media. -Social media is one of the best places to get the conversation started. Use your social media profile to not only showcase your expertise but as a medium to resolve customer service issues and to monitor your brand mentions. It's about being a part of the conversation and interacting directly with consumers who are interested in your brand or could be potential customers. Creating advocacy is more than providing a place for consumers to congregate in the social sphere. If your primary job is deleting “f-bombs” and ‘keeping things clean’ you won’t inspire advocacy. Don’t be afraid to get deep into the dialogue and interact directly with brand advocates to show you’re truly interested in what they have to offer. Those who see that they are being actively engaged with will engage even more, growing brand awareness within their network.
4. Make your Marketing Loveable/Engaging. -When providing a user experience, you’re your brand, make your marketing lovable and engaging. Even the smallest detail can change the experience your customers have with your product or service. User experience can be dictated by brand personality, a quality product, the ability to customize your product, or to have a brand that is responsive and engaging on social media. Brands are increasingly becoming more lifestyle focused, promoting ideas that are bigger than their specific products by asking advocates to share photos, videos or thoughts on what the product enables them to do instead of asking for generic product photography. This inspires creativity and personalization of a product and gets consumers interacting on a different level.