Empowering Customers to Become Brand Advocates

When companies deliver an excellent customer service experience, sales improve and loyalty is often won. The savvy company, however, will never lose sight of providing an optimal customer experience and strive toward an additional goal: turning those satisfied customers into true brand advocates. In today’s omnichannel world, customers have more power than ever before with their freedom to voice concerns and compliments alike on social media (and good old-fashioned word of mouth!). So when brands get it right, their good efforts can be magnified over and over again by the customers they have worked hard to please. So how can brands turn their happy customers into brand advocates?Provide proactive customer service. Being proactive means staying a few steps ahead of the customer and seeing things from his or her perspective. What if customers have a technical question? Make sure FAQs are posted on all channels and support videos are available. Is there an anticipated delay in delivery or scheduled website maintenance? Let customers know in advance. Even when everything is running smoothly-deliveries are on time, sales will be held as planned-keep customers updated ahead of time so they won’t have to contact you later.Show loyal customers you’re loyal to them, too. Shouldn’t loyal customers be rewarded? Loyalty programs are great incentives for customers to keep coming back, such as offering vouchers and coupons. Another strategy is a referral system that allows customers to benefit from referring friends to your company, allowing businesses to keep their customers loyal while finding new ones. It’s also important to consider making gestures when customers are unhappy with a situation, such as a delayed delivery or a technical issue that is taking too long to resolve. Offering an account credit, for example, is a professional way to please the customer and proactively handle the situation-don’t wait for the customer to ask for it.Humanize your brand. Customers want to feel that they are valued as individuals. This is especially true in stressful customer service situations when support is greatly needed. Companies therefore need to personalize the customer experience whenever they can. This can mean everything from agents addressing customers by name during all interactions to allowing customized settings on a company website when purchases are made (such as wish lists, shopping baskets, and tabs for setting preferences). It’s equally important to be timely-answering customers as quickly as possible, keeping them updated about deliveries and any pertinent information that affects them, and following up after customer service cases have been resolved, for example. Customers want to be informed and will appreciate the human touch, as many studies have shown that brands with personal touches attain customer loyalty much more than brands that treat customers in a more straightforward, impersonal manner.Tailor to customer needs. One great benefit of the omnichannel approach is the ability to reach a vast audience-a tool which is critical to effective marketing campaigns. But are you sure you are contacting customers on the channel they prefer? Using analytics can be helpful to determining which channels are best for contacting certain customers (again, personalization is key here). Once that has been determined, make sure that the products or services being offered are tailored to the interests of that customer by reviewing their purchase history with the company. Not all customers will necessary want to hear about the same products.Ask for customer feedback. The best way to encourage customers to voice their support for your brand is to honor their opinions. Asking for customer feedback via post-contact surveys, periodic surveys, and regularly on social media show customers that you are confident enough in your brand to welcome comments yet open-minded enough to trust your customers’ suggestions for making the brand even better. Building trust is an excellent way to inspire customers to become true advocates. Engage customers on social media, and encourage them to post comments and user-generated content such as videos or testimonials demonstrating their satisfaction with the brand’s products or services. Customers will feel involved in the brand and more compelled to advocate for you.Going the extra mile to please your customers and show them you value their business is a surefire way to turn customers into true brand advocates. Learn about Vocalcom contact center software solutions for great customer service.

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