Do you know that you can turn customers to brand ambassadors? Yes, you can cut on your ad budget and channel the resources to other aspects of business if you have loyal customers. These are customers that will preach the goodness of your product/service everywhere they go.
Firsthand experience always helps to deliver the weight of any issue to anyone. You’ll hear people say stuff like, “I would never have believed that stuff if my neighbor didn’t tell me of her own experience”. In business, it becomes weightier when there is no perceived benefit for the narrator by the listener.
You will expand your customer base and as such your business, if your customers tell people within their sphere of influence about your product.
Normally, there are three layers of customers: general customers, loyal customers, and brand ambassadors. There are fans who admire what you do, but may not be able to afford your product. They are the consumers who (for the time being) are there for the free stuff.
Although most brands pay influencers and celebrities to be brand ambassadors, you can get some extra free adverts from your other customers.
Your goal is to turn a general customer to a loyal one, and then turn customers to brand ambassadors.
Now, the strategy is NOT to get them to tell people. It is to serve them so good that they want to talk about it. See, when people are happy, they act, and most of the action comes from the mouth; through referrals.
Follow me let me show you how to do this.
Deliver Exceptional Value
This is non-negotiable. You will not survive or go far without delivering exceptional value to customers.
You want to turn your customers to brand ambassadors? Serve them well. A customer you serve well will come back; and that’s what you need – customer retention.
Customers will talk to people about your business if you do two things, serve them poorly, or exceed their expectations. If you just render “normal service”, that is, what everyone is doing, they most likely will not talk about it. In which case you may have low retention, because they can get that service somewhere else.
Give customers much more than what they bargained for. Give them more than what they expect, and you’ll see them telling people about your business. In this competitive business world, you must have something that gives you an edge over others to thrive. The best way to do this is to give them more than what the product/service offers. That way, they will always come back for more.
Someone told a story of an Uber driver who had just a bottle of water in his car for his passengers. He said he got in and thought someone had forgotten his/her water, but the driver said “No, that’s for you sir, in case you are thirsty”. The bottled water was not for sale.
From then, that passenger always wanted to have that guy drive him. And guess what? He shared the story in a room with about 1,000 people.
2. Create a Community/Get them involved
Not everyone is your customer. Even if you are in the FMCG industry that serves products for the general public, you still have a first target, and what we call market segmentation.
There are different markets (people) and different ways to engage these markets. What you need to do is create a community out of these markets. It’s not just about creating a Facebook group, but about having a forum that contains groups of people within or the totality of your customers.
Get them talking to each other and about your product. Most brands have radio shows, they organize meet and greets, tweet chats, Facebook groups, and they have their special hashtags.
This makes customers talking about your product online (which is very much needed) and offline because they want to share what’s going on in the community with family and friends… if interesting.
3. Share a Feeling
Humans are emotional beings. Connect with them on the emotional plane. They will not just pay you, they’ll tell people about how you made them feel.
This is where content marketing comes in. I once read a blog post and it was describing kinds of people that attend parties, and I could relate with it because I see these sets of people in parties.
The blog post ended up talking about a particular soft drink at the end. And it was so subtle you wouldn’t know it was an advert. In fact, one of the commenters said, “I cannot believe I’ve just been advertised to.” Will he/she go ahead to tell people about that advert or not? You sure answered right.
That post got one of the most comments on an advertorial post because readers could feel what the brand was trying to say. How much more a reader who is already your customer?
4. Praise Them
Give regular shout-outs to your customers on social media and in the communities you have created.
This goes beyond sending birthday messages and felicitations during festive periods. You want them to know that you know them and are celebrating them.
This is like an offshoot of sharing a feeling. It is you taking the focus away from your brand, and to your customers.
Remember, your goal is to keep your name in people’s mind and on social media!