Brand advocacy is a strategy where happy customers promote a brand among their friends and associates. Hence, most brands consider brand advocacy a competitive strategy, as these customers as passionate brand advocates are extremely valuable assets in enhancing a brand’s reach, visibility as well as growth.
So How Can A Brand Turn Its Most Satisfied Customers Into Loyal Brand Advocates?
To begin with brand advocacy journey, brands must identify their customers as micro-influencers who can be potential brand advocates.
Brand advocacy can’t be enforced on customers, it must be voluntary. However, brands can tweak the average customer experience to build a more welcoming environment for all customers. Once the customers are pleased enough, some of them can reciprocate.
Deliver Proactive Customer Service
Well-crafted and -delivered service is what will make customers fall in love with a brand to the point of advocacy. On the other end of the tunnel, lengthy service interactions, longer waiting time and frustrating experiences can disenchant customers. It can even prompt them to spread negative word-of-mouth about the brand.
In 2014, 64 percent of consumers switched at least one provider due to poor service. The estimated value of this “switching economy”? $6.2 trillion.
Thus, brands must invest considerably in transforming their organizational culture into a service-oriented one. This in turn can allow them to develop the ability to turn their customers into brand advocates, who will stay engaged and spread the good word about the brand.
Use A Consistent Omni-channel Approach
Customers love options, and omni-channel service gives them just that. The challenge for brands is providing a truly consistent experience with skilled customer-facing representatives, who are ready to engage on any channel at any time.
As customers often have a preferred channel of contact, brands must strive to optimize services and customer experience across all channels.
Offer Loyalty & Referral Programs
Brands must appreciate their loyal customers, by offering loyalty programs with discounts, upgrades, or free products, based on the customer’s past interaction or purchase history.
An upfront gesture of offering new customers a discount after their first purchase, is also welcome. Brand advocates are born when brands take proactive measures and time to recognize & reward their customers.
Along with loyalty programs, referral programs go a long way in pleasing current customers while attracting new ones. Referral programs are a true win-win situation and a great way to reward loyal customers and turn them into passionate brand advocates.
Engage Customers On Social Media
Social media is a critical avenue to connect with happy customers and potential brand advocates. Thus, brands should consider certain simple tips to build, engage & retain customers on social media.
Every positive comment should be regarded as an opportunity to engage with satisfied customers and build stronger relationships. At the same instance, it is tremendously important for brands to address every negative mention or concern on these social platforms.
With this, brands can foster their image as an honest, coherent, transparent & trustworthy brand. Hence, brands must unleash the potential of social media advocacy, to engage happy customers and turn them into brand advocates.
Ask For Customer Feedback
“64% of users write about a brand online to offer suggestions, reviews and share their positive experiences while 52% do it for complaining
It is highly crucial for brands to listen to the voice of the customer and make decisions based on their expectations. Thus, brands can develop strategies to make customer advocacy an integral part of their advocacy marketing efforts.
Soliciting customer feedback through periodic surveys can be instrumental in improving a brand’s services & offerings.
According to a Nielsen study, 84% of consumers rely on recommendations from friends, peers and trusted resources. Nurturing relationships with customers to empower them with the best service possible, is a clear path to transforming them into powerful brand advocates.
The voice of the customer is one of the greatest sources of learning for brands. By shaping the brand around customer opinion, brands can more effectively build a community of brand advocates, nurture meaningful relationships and make a positive impact on their bottom line.
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