Five Ways To Build Solid Brand Advocates

brand-advocateIn today’s post I wanted to talk about a few different ways you can work to build solid brand advocates. In a customer service training presented by Disney, one of the speakers said the following, “retention is the new acquisition”. Although that is only partially true since you always have to be working to acquire new customers, I felt it was a powerful statement since retaining customers and turning them into brand advocates can help you continue to grow your business by increasing customer life time value and gaining new business from referrals. It’s a magical thing!

So what can you start doing today to step up your customer service skills and work toward turning your customers into brand advocates? Here are five ways… start doing them today!

Get Better At Saying Thank You

Just about every online business I work with has a thank you page when a conversion takes place (macro or micro). Upon review, I’ve found that about 99% of all thank you pages need some help… in many cases, a lot of help.

Some ways that you can spruce up your thank you pages are as follows:

  • Provide links to social profiles and invite them to follow and engage with you
  • Provide links to other resources on your website to help them get additional information about you and your business
  • You might also consider adding a promotion to your thank you page to persuade your new customer to take an additional action

Outside of online improvement, in some cases you might also consider sending a thank you card or package. I know that with larger clients we bring on, we send big welcome packages with some SWAG and with smaller, we send a thank you card. In a very digital world, these go a very long way as they are often times unexpected.

Improve Your Feedback Channels

When it comes to customer service, you are probably getting feedback from customers you either aren’t using at all, or aren’t using enough (I’m guilty here). Not only should you be sending customer satisfaction surveys and pumping the client services department for feedback, but you should be following up with canceled clients by phone and email to gain critical insights as to why they decided to terminate their services.

When you take the time to poll your current and cancelled clients, you are telling them “we care about you and your success”. This will not only help build loyalty, but you will be able to fix small problems before they become large ones.

Determine Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) & Work To Improve It

A lot of business people have never heard of a net promoter score or how to get one. The net promoter score is a number that tells you how likely your customer base is to refer your business to a family and friend. Instead of just relying on cancellation data, which is a lagging indicator, to determine how satisfied your customers are, send them a one question survey asking them the golden question, “on a scale from one to ten, how likely are you to refer (company) name to a family member or a friend”. You can then determine the calculation by following the instructions here.

The last step to this process is to put a plan in place to help you improve your NPS score by the time you send the next survey.

Put Someone In Charge of Building Brand Advocates

If you really want to turn your customers into brand advocates, you are going to have to commission an individual to make it their sole focus. Great candidates for this position often come from the customer service or marketing departments, however, I’ve also seen them come from operations or product teams.

You should keep in mind that the individual you choose needs to understand that customer loyalty will touch a number of departments of your organization, however, one person should be heading it up for the greatest chance of success.

Internally Publicize Wins & Losses

Let’s face it… at the end of the day, turning customers into brand advocates is a company wide effort. The thing that bothers me the most is that customer loyalty scores rarely get shared across an organization and are never seen as important as revenue and profits. That is why I make it a top priority to speak to our company once per month discussing wins, losses, and how our customers are feeling so we can make adjustments to better serve them and make them customers for life. When we do this, it is making it clear that it is a company wide priority and that everyone is responsible for turning customers into brand advocates.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Please share in the section below.

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