Every brand wants to make its customers happy, and most will be satisfied knowing their customers have great things to say about them. However, the efforts should never stop there. While positive customer feedback is essential to brand success, taking proactive measures toward turning these satisfied customers into brand advocates is key to long-term loyalty and attracting new customers in the process. As noted by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep current ones. So how can a brand turn its most satisfied customers into loyal brand advocates? Keep these 8 tips in mind.
Deliver proactive service. Being a step ahead of customers is a winning strategy for earning their loyalty. This can mean everything from keeping customers informed to simplifying their lives with advanced service features. If a delivery delay is anticipated or a sales event is coming up, let them know right away. Consider offering a live chat option to make the sales process easier or offering a callback system to save them time when they need service. Think of your customers’ needs, and they will think of you.
Use a consistent omnichannel approach. Customers love choices, and omnichannel service gives them just that. The challenge is providing a truly consistent experience with skilled agents ready to engage on any channel at any time. Make sure all channels are optimized for great service, keeping in mind that customers often have a preferred channel of contact. Take note of that preference and strive to engage on the customer’s channel of choice for greater impact.
Offer loyalty programs. How about showing your customers that you are loyal, too? Show them your gratitude by offering a loyalty program with discounts, upgrades, or free products based on the customer’s purchase history. Also consider making a gesture upfront by welcoming new customers with a discount after their first purchase. Brand advocates are born when companies take the time to recognize and appreciate their customers.
Offer referral programs. Along with loyalty programs, referral programs go a long way toward pleasing current customers while attracting new ones. Why not reward your brand advocates and the new customers they refer? Referral programs are a true win-win situation all around and a great way to reward brand advocates.
Engage customers on social media. If there’s one place your company should look at to find brand advocates, it’s on your social media channels. Every positive comment should be considered an opportunity to engage with the satisfied customer and build a stronger relationship, whether it be thanking them for their comments or engaging them in marketing campaigns. And what about negative feedback? It’s tremendously important to address every concern and make a point of showing on these public platforms that your brand is genuinely addressing customer concerns. Social media engagement is critical to connecting with happy customers and turning the frustrated ones into potential brand advocates.
Personalize customer experiences. These days, providing adequate customer service is not enough. Customer experience is what counts, and making it truly great begins with being personal. Always address customers by name in service interactions and marketing offers, and keep the tone friendly and approachable to humanize your brand. Offering customized settings for purchases such as wish lists and one-click checkout can make the sales process smoother. Lastly, keeping customers informed in a timely manner is an absolute must for gaining their loyalty. Treat every customer as a valued person whose time and business count.
Make appealing and targeted marketing offers. Are your customers getting marketing offers they actually want? Make an effort to offer them targeted offers based on their purchase history and preferences. Your brand may offer upgrades on already purchased services or products or recommend new ones.
Ask for customer feedback. Turning customers into brand advocates means showing them their opinions really matter. Solicit their feedback through post-contact and periodic surveys to improve service. Never neglect social media channels, and encourage them to post comments and user-generated content such as videos or testimonials to show their love for your brand. Customers will appreciate knowing you care enough to improve the brand for their greater satisfaction.Happy customers are a brand’s best asset, as they play a key role in spreading the word about their great customer experiences. According to a Nielsen study, 84% of consumers reported sometimes or always taking action based on personal recommendations, while 70% did the same based on online opinions. Nurturing relationships with customers to give them the best service possible is a clear path to making them powerful brand advocates.
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