There are many powerful tools in a marketer’s toolkit—from content marketing to social media marketing to pay-per-click advertising, to name just a few. However, perhaps no marketing tactic is more effective than having a happy customer advocate on your behalf.
If your business has had any success at all, you have some happy customers. But, just being happy doesn’t guarantee that they will be an outspoken champion for your products or services. What you have to do is seek out your potential advocates, nurture those relationships, and help the people spread the word about your company.
Like the Song Says: “Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About!”
Simply asking someone to “be an advocate” is rarely going to work. Instead, you have to interact with them in such a way that it’s actually hard for them NOT to gush about your company.
Here are a number of things you can do to create the conditions that turn customers into tireless town criers:
- Refer to them by name. It’s interesting how much stronger a connection to another person is when you remember and use their name. Now, of course, you can go overboard with this tactic and make yourself sound odd and automated. But if you slip in a person’s name a few times at appropriate points in a conversation, it can do wonders.
- Ask for input. Being open to feedback shows that you are trying to ensure a positive customer experience. In many cases, a customer who has had a few small issues here and there with our company will happily overlook them if they see that you are trying to get better at what you do.
- Provide exceptional customer service. This is a must for your business whether you are looking to groom advocates or not. But, if you are, a person’s story about how quickly and completely their issue was handled will go a long way toward elevating your reputation.
- Create a loyalty program. The best and most believable advocates are those who have done business with you multiple times. A loyalty program is a great way to turn customers into repeat customers.
- Send handwritten notes. Want to get a customer's attention? Send them a brief, heartfelt, handwritten note after a particularly notable purchase or when they go out of their way to recommend your company to someone. Here in the digital age, the fact that you would take the time to sit down and write a letter is truly remarkable and something the recipient is sure to talk about.
- Under promise and over deliver. It’s tempting to say, “We’ll get that order to you in three days,” and enjoy that immediate “Wow, thanks!” But it will make a much more lasting impression if you say, “You can expect that order in four or five days,” and then deliver it in three.
- Educate them about your informational resources. People are often happy to share some information about your company if it’s easy to find the right pieces to pass along. As part of your content marketing strategy, be sure you educate your audience on how and where they can get details on your offerings.
Get People Singing Your Praises
It really doesn’t take much to turn happy customers into active advocates. At 30dps, our teams in Colorado Springs, CO, and Springfield, MO, have been helping our clients across the country connect effectively with their customers and prospects for almost 30 years. Wondering how to get your target market singing your praises? Give us a shout and let’s make a plan!