Customer advocacy is a cornerstone of any successful business. The more passionate customers are about your product or service, the more likely they will tell their friends about you and help grow your business. Whether you’re selling one-off products or subscriptions, it’s important that every customer feels like an advocate for your company. Here are some tips for developing that mindset in your team:
Make every customer feel important
Empowering your customers to advocate for you is all about making them feel important. That sounds like a vague, cheesy platitude, but it’s really not! Here are some specific things you can do to make every customer feel important and invested in your company:
- Be friendly. Make eye contact and smile at everyone who walks through the door.
- Be polite. Listen carefully when someone speaks with you; don’t interrupt them or talk over them (even if what they’re saying seems obvious).
- Be helpful. Answer questions respectfully and thoroughly, even if those answers require research on your part or free up time from other people in order to provide those answers yourself–it’s worth it!
- Be proactive (or “pro-active”). If there’s something a customer needs from you but hasn’t asked for yet, go ahead and offer it before he/she does (or just ask him/her outright). If there’s anything else that could be done by anyone else but isn’t done yet because no one has thought of it yet…do that too!
You’ll probably need some help with this one since no one person can keep track of everything happening at once; however, once this becomes second nature for everyone involved with customer service workflows within an organization, everyone wins (customers included). As always, don’t forget rule number 1–make every customer feel important!
Give customers a reason to visit
Customer referrals involve customers recommending your business to their friends, family members, and co-workers. This method can be very effective; however, it requires some effort on your part because you have to ask people directly for recommendations or referrals. You can also get referrals by offering freebies or discounts to customers who refer others to do business with you.
If you want customers to love you, give them a reason to visit your site.
- You should have a great product. If your product isn’t the best out there or doesn’t solve a problem for your customers, they won’t come back.
- You should have great customer service. If you can’t give good customer service when people reach out to you or are unhappy with something that happened during their experience with your company, they won’t return either.
- Your brand must be strong and consistent across all its channels (like social media). That way, when people do visit again, after having an awesome experience with one of those channels, they’ll feel like everything is still cohesive and consistent throughout the brand’s mission statement so that no matter where someone interacts with it online—whether through Facebook or Twitter–they know what kind of business operation this company represents!
Answer customers’ questions
Customer service is the most important part of your business. It’s a two-way street, not just about answering questions. Customer service is about providing solutions and helping customers understand your products and services.
Every customer has a different reason for contacting you, so it’s important to be ready for anything—and that means providing as much information as possible in every response. You’ll show customers you care about them and their experience with your company by responding quickly. And by being prepared with relevant product information or helpful tips on using one of our products correctly, we can help make them more confident using our products over other options.
Listen to customers’ suggestions
Customers love to talk about what they like, what they don’t like, and where they see your company or industry heading. Ask them! Don’t just ask them once and then go on with your day. Keep asking in a variety of ways—in surveys, in focus groups, or while you’re casually talking through an idea with one of them at a meetup.
Get feedback from other departments
Customer testimonials are a powerful way to get people talking about you. The more positive things customers say about your company, the more likely it is that others will want to use your products or services. As a customer service expert, you want to ensure that your department is doing its job well.
One way of doing this is getting feedback from other company departments interacting with customers. For example, the marketing team might have great ideas for how to improve customer loyalty or satisfaction. Or perhaps accounting can give you some useful data about customer retention rates—or lack thereof.
And Voice of the Customer Programs (VOC Programs) involves asking customers what they think about your company, its products and services, or any other aspect of the business that is important to them.
Learn from the competition
Competition is a great source of ideas. It’s not enough to look at your competitors and why they’re doing it. You can use this information to help you improve your product, understand your customers and their needs, and learn how to better communicate with them. In other words, competition can help you become an advocate for your business.
Keep learning on your own
- You can learn a lot about customer advocacy by reading books and articles.
- You can take classes in the subject.
- Use social media to connect with others interested in customer advocacy. Ask them questions and share what you’ve learned so far.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes—that’s how we all learn! And if you do make a mistake, learn from it and don’t repeat it again! It’s also important to look at your own mistakes and those of other companies that have gone before you and your competitors.
Develop the right attitude
- Develop the right attitude.
- Learn to be a good listener.
- Learn how to ask questions that get to the heart of the matter and help you better understand your customer’s needs.
- Learn to keep in mind that customers are always right—even when they aren’t!
The best way to be a good advocate for your customers is to approach each day with the right attitude. You should be flexible, open-minded, and willing to learn new things. The more you learn about what your customers need and want, the better equipped you will be when they come up with new ideas or problems that need solving. In addition, customer marketing is a strategy for promoting and connecting with customers. It’s all about understanding their needs and motivations and then delivering them the right message at the right time in order to influence their perception of your brand.
So take a deep breath, relax (but don’t get complacent), and focus on making yourself into an authentic and effective customer advocate!