6 of the best ways to improve customer advocacy
by gardenpatch Insights on Nov 3, 2022 9:00:00 AM
How to improve customer advocacy
How do you feel about multiplying your revenue? If that sounds good to you, then keep reading. We’re about to deep dive into some easy ways that you can achieve just that. We can all agree that your revenue is linked to your clients. Clients bring in the money, so happy clients mean more money for your business. This is why customer advocacy is such an important part of operating a successful business.
What is customer advocacy?
Customer advocacy is measured by the level of loyalty that your customers feel towards your business. If you have many returning customers, you’re already on the right track. If you get loads of referrals, then that’s another move in the right direction. If you have a customer loyalty program, then you’re well on your way towards a perpetual growth cycle that will add momentum to your growth flywheel.
In other words, your customers become advocates when they start to sell your business for you. Customers can do this in various ways. A few examples of ways your customers can spread the word about your business are social media, word of mouth, and reviews. A customer loyalty strategy is a marketing technique that you use to ensure that your customers continue to support your business and encourage others to do the same.
While it’s true that you won’t be able to convert every customer into an evangelist, it pays off in the long run to have a customer advocacy program. Your customer advocates are your dedicated salesforce, so you need to know who they are. Once you can identify who your customer advocates are, then you can be ready to mobilize them.
The question then becomes, how do you mobilize them? Now that you know who your customer advocates are, how do you help them help your business? Jitbit determines that if you can increase the level of customer advocacy in your business by 12%, you can enjoy up to 2 times your current revenue! What would your business do with double your current revenue? Your customer advocates are the secret to doubling your business’s income. With this in mind, let’s look at how you can improve customer advocacy in your business and multiply your revenue.
1. Give Great Customer Service
You can start by just giving excellent customer service. Ensure that your customers walk away having a good experience whenever they need to interact with your business. Sometimes it’s the more minor details that make the difference. Make it easy for customers to contact you and don’t delay in responding. It’s also essential to use their names when you respond to them. Trust gets built when there is a rapport between your brand and your customer. When you refer to a customer by name, it shows them that you value them as customers and as a person. Authentic human connection boosts morale and will improve the customer experience from the get-go.
Look at your current response time for customer queries on your website. Do you respond as soon as possible? Or do your customers generally wait for some time without knowing if someone will reply? None of us enjoy it when we reach out to a company and walk away without being sure that our query will get to someone. So try to get back to your customer in a reasonable amount of time.
An easy way to make this process less stressful for both you and your customer is by setting proper expectations. Let your customer know when to expect a response from you. You can even set up an autoresponder with that type of general information. Auto responses can be helpful to both if you have a team or if you’re responding to queries yourself. Your customer can know right away when to expect a response from you. You might not notice it, but you’re now building a relationship with your customer. So the next time they need to reach out to you, they’ll be a lot more confident because they’ve gone through the process before. They are now learning what to expect from you.
Also, be honest about your response time. Give yourself enough time to check into your customers’ queries or concerns so you can provide the best possible response. If you do need more time to address their problem, let them know. People appreciate it more when expectations are set, even if they do wish it could be sooner.
2. Engage With Your Customers
Find out where your brand advocates are and engage with them. If you notice that a certain number of your customers are on Facebook or Twitter, you need to engage with them there. Create a business page on that platform and invest in a social media campaign strategy that drives engagement. You’re always looking to expand the reach of your business. So it’s essential to keep up with the changes in digital marketing. You must keep up with new social media trends to maintain engagement on social media.
Engaging with your customers has to do with understanding what they’ll respond to and marketing to them in that way. On Instagram, for example, you can get the most responses from your stories and videos that you post on IG TV. For Twitter, you can learn a whole lot from your target audience by creating unique polls surrounding your business. Many organizations use these strategies to get insight into their business from the customers’ perspective.
Customer engagement is something that needs to be sustained and maintained. So be consistent on your social media platforms. It takes a lot to handle every aspect of your business. So you may have to hire someone to manage your social media accounts depending on the size of your business and its reach. There’s always something new on social media to catch your customers’ attention. So keep trying out different approaches.
3. Take Action On Their Feedback And Follow Up
96% of consumers globally share the belief that businesses should act on the feedback they get from their customers. Feedback from your customers is one of the best business resources that you can have. You can look at your customer feedback as a knowledge base for what you’re currently doing well and what you need to improve. Your customer feedback is rich with ideas on expanding what you offer and tap into different marketplaces.
Use this information to streamline your operation by improving customer experience. When a customer leaves feedback, they state what impressed them and what could have made the experience better, if anything. If they highlight a gap in their customer experience journey, you must work to correct it. Acknowledge the issue and update the customer when it’s resolved. This way, they know that their feedback is valued, and it shows that you’re accountable. This is one thing that encourages repeat customers who then share their experiences with others.
4. Be Transparent
I ordered a Hawaiian Feast Pizza from Domino’s last week again. The thing that keeps me going back is not even the pizza. It’s the transparency I get from their order tracker. I could see the update when Maxine was "firing up my pizza", and I knew precisely when she "checked it for perfection". I also knew when the delivery guy, Mark, left the restaurant to deliver my order. I didn’t have to call Domino’s to ask them anything. I knew what was happening every step of the way, and that was comforting.
Another way that you can build your customers’ confidence is by sending them updates if there’s a delay. You’re right. No one wants to hear that their package is going to take a few days longer. It’s a much better experience, though, to know what’s going on. Giving updates can prevent misunderstandings and help you to avoid unnecessary refunds and cancellations.
Transparency is crucial when you want to gain and maintain trust. As humans, we like to be in the know. We’ve all heard that seeing is believing, so keep your customers in the loop. Many companies are now using similar systems to Domino’s, where customers can track their orders every step of the way. Customers will share positive experiences like this with their family and friends. Your business will always come to mind as their first recommendation because of how easy it was for them to use your service.
5. Ramp Up Your Customer Loyalty Program
Wine and dine your customer advocates. Why not? The fact is that you can only benefit from this. Surprise them every now then by sending them something special with their order or remembering their birthday. Research shows that customers respond better to businesses that reach out to them on special occasions. This leads them to support the company again and leave them a positive review. Nowadays, people share everything from food to special moments on their social media accounts. So find ways to make the special moments better. Your customers will remember this personal touch. Things like these will grow your brand loyalty.
Another good way to ramp up your customer loyalty program is by making your customers feel like part of the business. Quickly achieve this with a referral program. With a referral program, your customer no longer feels like just a customer. They now feel invested in the business because you have directly provided them with the potential to earn from the company. Tie referrals to things like loyalty points, discounts, or even specific store items or services offered.
Motivate your customers by rewarding their loyalty. This will increase your brand awareness and also improve your brand reputation. Develop relationships with your customers so they can feel comfortable about identifying with your brand.
6. Get Some Branded Merch!
Church groups, political parties, nonprofits, and activism groups all use branded merch to spread their message. Even families sometimes get branded t-shirts, baseball caps, or water bottles when traveling together as a group. This gives that feeling of a personal connection. People like to feel like they are a part of something special, and this is a great way to nurture this culture among your customers.
There’s no better way to increase brand advocacy than this, so make branded merch available to your customers. This can be anything from t-shirts to pens and coffee mugs. Customers feel a personal connection to your brand when they can wear a branded t-shirt or baseball cap to the store or drink coffee from a cup stamped with a brand they trust.
Branded merch sparks interest in the public. People will start asking questions, and this generates interest in your business. Don’t underestimate the value of branded merch. Much like billboards, this is a decades-old technique used by many companies and industries to grab the public’s attention.
Most businesses already have the raw material to either create a customer advocacy strategy or improve on what they already have. It’s a matter of identifying who your customer advocates are and finding the best ways to motivate them to sell your brand. Remember that customers respond to your brand based on their experiences. So make every customer experience a good customer experience. Transform your customers into advocates and start generating more profit in no time.
If you need help improving your customer advocacy strategy, reach out to us here at gargenpatch. We’re experts in customer advocacy. Let us help you design the perfect customer advocacy program.