1 November 2018
Our previous in-depth coverage of the customer and donor journey highlights that final goal to attain – even after brand loyalty – is customer advocacy.
For any organisation, customer advocacy is when your customer reaches the optimal stage of faith, belief and trust in your brand. That very spot where instead of selling or promoting the merits of your organisation to others, your customers do it for you.
Who amongst us doesn’t want that?
Australian marketing expert Amanda Stevens has written the book on the subject. From this, we take a look at 5 things you can start doing now to foster engagement, encourage advocacy and turn your existing customers into unpaid advertisements for your brand.
1. Check your mood.
What is the quality of energy exchange across interactions with your brand?
When you customer picks up the phone to call, walks into your office or showroom how are they received? Every customer interaction matters, no matter if you are making or taking a call at 11am or 3:30pm, the energy needs to be consistent. Communication whether written, in person or across the printed or digital communications should express an openness, enthusiasm and appreciation for your audience.
2. Communicate future benefits.
Stevens’ explains a phenomenon developed by Professor Shali Tarot called ‘the optimism bias’. This outlines that the human view of the future tends to be positive. Often more positive than the reality. Behaviourally, this is something that propels us forward and keeps us happy. Creating a positive future association between your brand, product or service and your customer is a way to leverage this process – attaching positive emotion to your brand experience.
3. It’s always in the details.
Consistency and thoughtful touches over time accumulate to create an impression for your customers that is brag-worthy. Do you offer something that makes a difference? Is the digital experience or face-to-face interaction personalised and pleasant? Don’t underestimate the value of an unexpected ‘extra’. Discounts, exclusive events or special access – put yourself in the shoes of your various client groups (yes this works for B2B and even NFP) – what would you like to receive?
4. Milestone Marketing
One of the easiest and most cost effective ways that you can maximise your existing customer base is to celebrate your relationship! ‘Milestones’ can be personal like their birthday, occasional like Father’s Day or Christmas, or can relate to your business such as spend levels or celebrating a goal of some sort. The thinking here is the sense of value and unexpected surprise. If you were remembered and celebrated by a company you’ve been buying from after three years for example, you might think to mention this to a friend.
5. Create Talkability
Coupled with ‘all the little things’, perhaps it’s time to sit down with your team and talk about what makes the experience of your brand great. Keep doing these things! But remember to ask yourself – what else could you be doing to make it greater? It’s these touches of excellence that take you beyond the ordinary and give people great things to say about your brand.
Push beyond what everyone else is doing. Implementing some of these ideas into your business strategies can help you maximise your greatest asset, keep they happy and at the same time put your brand in front of a biggest audience.
Talk to the team at MIH about how we may help in delighting your customers and encouraging them to share their delight with others.