Like every other company you are focusing on providing excellent customer service but do you think it is enough!
Today’s customers’ expectations are much higher – they want an experience, not just an uneventful interaction. You cannot stop your customers from switching to your competitors even if they are satisfied with your product and services.
So, how will you retain and make them a lifetime loyal customers?
The answer is engagement. You need to evolve strategies to engage them with memorable experiences. These strategies should bring your customer experience to the next level. It requires going beyond their expectations or connected with them on a personal level.
Are you thinking of how to exceed the expectations of your customer?
Don’t be overwhelmed – even simply remembering the names of your customers and sparking up a conversation to build relationships can work. Simply the faster service and easier to use than your competitors is exceeding expectations.
To provide a quality experience, the focus needs to be on strengthening the relationship through each interaction which will create a reciprocal and loyal relationship with your customers. This type of relationship is the only sustainable competitive advantage for your growth and profitability.
So you need to shift your focus from providing satisfactory customer service to creating an incredible customer experience which should make them feel that they have received something exceptional. If you are successful in delivering a positive experience, it will create an imbalance that disturbs the spontaneous sense of reciprocity giving you an army of brand advocates.
To develop a closer bond, you need to focus on the emotional need that calls for the attention of your customers which is not always your product or services, but convenience and ease of use of your services.
Before going into the details as to how to create an army of brand advocates, you need to understand and keep the balance between the strong brand and badass reputation.
In simple words, the brand is inside out and reputation is outside in.
What does it mean?
A brand is built on the set of promises and associations that companies create to build loyalty with their customers. On the other hand, reputation is built on direct experiences, others’ opinions and validation from outside stakeholders formed by your company’s and employees’ actions.
I am the strong supporter of organic advocacy and believe that the user-generated affection can be more powerful and effective. The personalized engagement plans through extraordinary customer services can help in setting you apart from the competition.
To stand out in the competition, it is important to understand the most effective advocacy driver and emphasize your unique brand strength. Instead of establishing your plans based on assumptions, listen to your customers’ voice about your brand.
There is no doubt that the word-of-mouth has always been the most powerful marketing tools in generating more sales and advocates. On your part, you only need to give a reason to spread the word, which is a great experience that they cannot resist to talk about your brand.
The key to earning advocacy is strong personalized relationships with your customers. It is a two-way street requiring frequent engagement episodes. At this stage, it is important not to push sales instead provide added value to your customers that directs them to engage on their own.
Building personalized relationships take time and an effective strategy to maintain relationships through continued engagement.
Create brand advocates by providing your customers with exceptional service and benefits beyond their expectations. Reach out to your customers and offer surprising offers or even a small gesture of sending a personalized thank you for making a purchase and supporting your business.
Help your advocates to be listened by referring them in your social networks. Include social media sharing options in your content to make it easy for them to share on their networks. This way they can easily encourage their friends to do the same.
It is important to understand what your customers and your employees want and what is valuable to them. You only need to help them grow and solve their problems. This will encourage your employees as well to become an advocate for your brand.
If you are superficially honest and consistent, you will have the most loyal advocates. Basically, your honesty makes your customer want to align with your mission to succeed. Also when you are consistent, your customers know what they will get in return.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customer for their feedback and review. The worst they could refuse. Their feedback and answers to your questions will be worth listening to. Knowing their touch points will help in identifying your unique advocacy drivers and to engage in dialogues to build strong relationships.
Everyone wants to be part of an authentic and relatable brand with a unique voice. To stand out among your competitors, you need to give first more than you receive. If you succeed in making them feel that your brand is trustworthy and aligns with your mission and vision, they will excitingly share your stories, engage with you and recommend you to their peers.
If you want your employees and customers to advocate your brand, educate them with evidence of your brand’s worthiness. Deliver a strong product and service that do what it says. You need a constant dialogue to build your army of advocates.
All the stakeholders should have active roles in creating and providing solutions to brand problems resulting in the overall success. Treating your customers and employees as partners and brand advocates makes a difference in building strong and loyal relationships.