Keeping customers is the key to staying in business, and if you can create a brand where your returning customers recruit new customers? Even better! Brand advocates are exactly that – loyal customers who share your brand with everyone they know, bringing you new customers.
Consumers trust their peers’ opinions more than what you say about your own brand. Brand advocates help you make the most of your marketing budget by sharing information that won’t be locked behind an ad blocker and by building trust with their friends, family, and followers.
The hard part, though, is turning your returning customers into brand advocates. Take some steps to make sharing your brand easy and beneficial for your customers, and they’ll become brand advocates in no time.
Set Up a Referral Program
Referral programs give your customers a reason to share your brand with everyone they know.
Give your loyal customers unique links to share with their friends. Each new customer who purchases through their link receives $10 off a full-price purchase of $30 or more. Each time someone purchases through their link, your loyal customer receives a $10 credit toward their next purchase.
It’s a win for everyone – you win because you’re gaining new customers; your customers win because they get money off their next purchase; and your new customers win because they get a discount.
Referred customers tend to stick around longer and spend more than other customers, so they’ll be more valuable to you in the long run.
It’s no longer enough to just provide great customer service – everyone expects that. Exceeding expectations and providing excellent customer service is more than just giving gifts and discounts to loyal customers. It’s about how you communicate with your customers every time.
Do things to surprise your customers – like anticipating their questions and answering them before they ask or suggesting products based on their lifestyles and past purchases. Take it even further by personally calling your customers to thank them for shopping with you or sending them a handwritten thank you note.
Make Reviews Easy
Make it as easy as possible for your customers to review your company and products. Turn on Facebook reviews, set up your Google Business account, and claim your Yelp account. Don’t forget to let people write reviews on your website, too.
Try not to be pushy, but remind your customers as much as possible to leave reviews on your products.
Ask for Feedback (and Act on It)
Ask your loyal customers for feedback on how you’re doing and what you could be doing better. You can even ask them what they’d like to see you do in the future. You’ll get some great ideas, and your customers will feel truly appreciated (so they’ll want to share your brand).
After you receive feedback, make sure to act on it. Make improvements based on your customers’ recommendations. If they have a good idea for the future, start working on it. Once the idea is implemented or the product is produced, the customer who suggested it will definitely want to share with their friends, since they were part of the process.