Many companies place all of their focus on sales funnel optimization while they keep forgetting about the stages that come once a customer finalizes a purchase. If they're satisfied with your product, they may become brand advocates for your business.
Closing a sale is a start of a new customer relationship, and it shouldn’t be seen as its culmination. Putting the effort into building that relationship can turn a customer into a loyal repeat customer that becomes one of your advocates.
However, turning a regular customer into a loyal advocate isn’t easy. The company needs to go above and beyond to turn a customer into an advocate or a brand evangelist.
Let’s take a look and find out how to turn customers into brand advocates effectively. Succeeding in this field will work wonders for your business in the long run.
Why You Should See Your Customers as Brand Advocates
To build a truly strong brand that will grow in the long run, it’s necessary to develop a deeper connection with customers. To be precise, you need to turn loyal customers into brand promoters.
As a business, you should keep in mind two important reasons why you should try to convert a customer into a brand advocate.
First of all, the traditional way of advertising is becoming exorbitant. And second, brand advocates and evangelists provide a more authentic and more attractive promotion.
More and more people ignore online ads while experienced users don’t hide the fact that they dislike ads of this kind. Customers have a hostile attitude toward sponsored ads and that’s why a lot of them have ad blockers enabled while they browse the internet.
After all, more than one-third of all internet users in the US are using ad blockers.
That’s why turning customers into brand advocates is way better. Your happy customers will be willing to promote your business in an authentic way. A positive post on their social channels or providing testimonials and written reviews will help boost your brand awareness.
On the other hand, you can use negative feedback to address problems and improve areas that need some fixing.
How to Turn Customers into Brand Advocates?
Let’s go through some exact tips to help you learn how to turn customers into promoters.
Referral programs allow customers to get credits or points as a reward if they refer new customers to your business.
A referral program can also be used for social media promotions. For instance, there are various micro-influencer programs that allow merchants to set up a rewards program for consumers depending on social media shares.
Gather product reviews
It’s also possible to transform a customer’s experience into a business promotion endeavor using product reviews. To collect customer feedback, start by contacting customers that have recently bought a product, especially those who are repeat customers.
And if you think that reaching out manually is difficult, there are various CRM tools that can help through automation.
Social proof notifications
When a store displays real-time purchases it generates even more impulse purchases.
Customers who are in doubt whether or not to buy a certain product will feel that they might miss out if they don’t click on the purchase button faster. The concept of social proof notifications has worked for many and there is no surprise that it’s becoming more and more popular.
Set up social proof notifications on your website to increase conversion rates. The customers will be your ambassadors as their purchases will trigger social proof for potential customers browsing the store.
4. Engaging with your audience online
Your business shouldn’t only be there for its customers when they click on the purchase button. Remember, customers can easily look elsewhere to buy similar products.
Instead, allow your customers to be your brand promoters by displays of respect and appreciation. Interact with them online, show them that you value their opinions, and that will make your customers talk and think about your brand positively.
If your business has social media pages, you can interact with customers anytime, anywhere.
5. Hosting events
Set up business events and invite your most loyal customers to use word-of-mouth marketing.
Your events need to be fun and you should give something in return to everyone that comes to attend. The event will not only be fun for both you and your customers, but it’ll also act as a relationship boost that benefits your business greatly.
6. Offering high-end customer support
To make your customers truly respect your brand and want to spread the word about it, it’s also necessary to provide impeccable customer service.
It’s inevitable that your business will run into problems and complaints. However, it’s crucial to deal with those problems properly.
If a customer has a problem, your agents have to be respectful and empathetic during all the phases of problem-solving.
Real-world Examples of Customer Ambassadors
Now let’s take a look at some successful examples of brands managing to secure customer ambassadors that spread the positive word about the business.
Starbucks focuses on branding through its marketing campaigns and products. A company needs to understand its audience 100% in order to find out what kind of branding appeals to them and what they need to do to keep them hooked.
2. Post-marketing efforts
Amazon works hard on its post-marketing efforts with the aim of bringing customers back for more.
Various businesses use predictive marketing to guess what products will garner the most interest. Amazon does this through predictive design that segments their website (Recommendations for You). They also send emails on similar topics along with shopping cart reminders.
3. Special deals
Pizza Hut focuses on offering their email subscribers special offers. This keeps the company relevant and on the customers’ minds regularly. When you create an interesting email, your customers will look forward to receiving a message.
Selling your products well is the backbone of business success. However, placing all your resources and efforts only on sales means that you don’t see the bigger picture.
That’s where customer ambassadors enter the stage. And thanks to them, not only will your marketing teamwork to promote your brand, but you’ll also enjoy free promotions from your customers.