The client possesses a power often under-estimated by enterprises, a real promoter of the brand that’s becoming more legitimate today than certain forms of media. The “evangelist-like” behavior of the customer ambassador is often spontaneous, though generally needs to be encouraged by the company. Discover 6 tips to make your loyal customers ambassadors for your business.
Before going any further, know that consideration is the first thing that you owe all of your customers and is the very minimum you can do if you want them to become spokespersons for your future company.
1. EARN THE TRUST OF YOUR CLIENTELE
Giving or re-giving confidence to your customers is the key to a lasting relationship, and a solid foundation to turn them into future ambassadors of your products/services. First point: be transparent. Don’t hide any information that could undermine the relationship you have with your clients. Be clear about the management of customer data, for example: CNIL (NCIL), legal notices, etc. Don’t hesitate to have your customer relationship certified by a trusted third party. The positive opinions of your customers will be even stronger in terms of how they impact other consumers.
Second: keep your promises. Nothing seems simpler, but we still see today companies failing to meet this fundamental requirement. And yet, this is the best way to win the trust of your consumers.
2. FACILITATE THE FEEDBACK OF YOUR CLIENTS
Once your clients have put their trust in you, or at least have put their trust in your brand, they will be more apt to express themselves. Give them the opportunity to interact with you, without major constraints. They must be able to express themselves spontaneously through the tools you have placed at their disposal: anywhere, anytime, and from any tool. Also, think about soliciting your customers; show them that their opinion is important to you. A customer who interacts with the brand will be more engaged.
3. ENGAGE YOUR COMMUNITY THROUGH SOCIAL NETWORKS
Social networks are a very good way to make your fans ambassadors of your brand. You are probably already set up on one or more specific social networks. In the opposite event, you’ll need to get yourself set up on the networks where your customers are already located. What kind of content is needed to get members to join your community? First, you need to communicate about your products/services: product launches, exclusives, new operations, etc. Remember that the web is an entertainment space, even more true for social media. You must be able to produce attractive, dynamic, and above all content with high added value. Don’t just talk about your business; touch upon topics that interest your customers. This type of content will encourage consumers to join the company, significantly increasing their engagement (more sharing, comments, etc.).
The challenge is of course attracting the attention of your fans, who all have access to a constantly-up-to-date news stream. Don’t hesitate to hold competitions, which are good generators of engagement and very attractive to potential users. Who doesn’t like being rewarded for their engagement?
All of these different aspects will encourage your fans to even create their own content related to your business (posts, article sharing, etc.). Nutella has many ambassadors for example. Some of them have even created Facebook pages dedicated to the brand.
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4. ESTABLISH AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION
Lastly, customer engagement can be linked to several elements. I may become engaged if a brand allows me to express my feedback easily, if I am dissatisfied with something and feel the need to voice my complaint. I can even become engaged if I am attached to the brand. Indeed, this notion of “brand attachment” reinforces the engagement level. It thereby becomes very important to create an emotional relationship between you and your clients. This includes highlighting your company’s value through storytelling. And yes, it is easier to create an emotional connection if you are telling a story around your craft and brand. Customers who adhere to your content are more likely to become engaged and proudly wear your brand’s colors, so to speak.
How can I tell stories that will have an emotional effect on my clientele? Try immersing yourself in the conversations that are taking place between your fans on social media. You need to understand your clients and what affects them in order to tell the kinds of stories that they will want to share between themselves.
5. IDENTIFY YOUR INFLUENCERS
Among your consumers, there are certain ones that will stand out as being more important than the others. You should be able to rank your clients (sort of in the same way you would do with prospective clients: some are more interesting than others) and direct your focus toward the ones who are the most loyal and engaged. You will be surprised to see that a percentage of them will emerge as influencers: bloggers with relevant audiences, tweeters with numerous followers, and so on. Get in touch with them and don’t hesitate to suggest the idea of a partnership. For example, offer them free products in exchange for a blog post. If the articles are positive (as there is always the risk they may be negative) this will provide reassurance to other customers, strengthen their attachment to your business, boost their engagement level, and perhaps even help new spokespersons to emerge.
6. USE A REFERRAL SYSTEM
The win-win principle is used widely in marketing as a method for encouraging customers to recommend a company’s products/services to others in their sphere. Thanks to a reward system, your customers will be incentivized to convert individuals in their own respective networks into customers themselves. If you encounter difficulties in turning your loyal customers into brand ambassadors, a referral system may just do the trick. Without a doubt, the lure of attractive rewards will motivate your consumers to become engaged in your brand.
You may decide to set up a permanent referral system (€5 offered to the referrer when their referral has made a first order, for example) or from time to time, in the form of contests.
Marketing Manager @ Critizr for Business