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Why is customer advocacy important and how can you help shape it?

More than ever, a customer's experience with your company is shaping how people use your services.

If you've ever had a bad experience with a company, you're 50% more likely to share it than you would a good experience. But the power of word of mouth extends beyond this. Your customers can be your most powerful advocates and your most valuable marketing resource. But, how can you help to harness these?

According to HubSpot, the attitude of your existing customers directly impacts the number of new customers you’ll make. So, how do you ensure that your clients are getting the very best experience and how can you encourage them to share this with their friends?

As Kent’s No.1 Inbound Marketing agency, FINALLY can help you to promote your business to today’s customer. To find out how, read on for some tips on how to enhance your customer’s experience or, for more tailored advice, get in touch with our team.

 

How to enhance your customer experience?

 

Develop Buyer Personas

You should first identify what kind of customers your products or services will benefit the most. After all, not every customer will be a good fit for your company. If your customer is discount driven, they may not be able to see past your prices. Neither of you are at fault here; you’re just not a good fit for each other.

Don’t try to be something you’re not just to make sales. If you target the wrong type of customer, it’s to be expected that they won’t stick around for the long-haul. Their expectations of your brand won’t be met and they’re more likely to express this negative sentiment to their friends and family.

Let FINALLY help with your Buyer Personas

 

Know that your customer experience is always evolving

How your customers interact with you is constantly evolving. Test new approaches and allow your customer behaviour to help shape your strategy. After all, who better to inform your offering than the person who uses it.

Related: There’s more than one way to talk to your customer

 

Don’t forget about customer retention

More often than not, businesses put all of the energy into attracting new customers, and very little to keeping the ones they already have. Think of new ways to keep your customers engaged. Whether it's something small, like a weekly newsletter, or something much bigger, like a loyalty scheme, customer retention should be the cornerstone of your marketing efforts.

 

Under promise and over deliver

Unhappy customers occur when their expectations don’t marry up with their experience. If they feel they’ve been mis-sold or are the wrong fit for your brand, they’re going to leave unhappy.

Manage your customers’ expectations by being mindful of your promises. Is your product really going to revolutionise their day-to-day? Be cautious about what you say so you can consistently over deliver on your customers’ expectations.

 

...and if you do break up, remain friends

Losing customers or leads is an inevitable part of business. However, how you behave during your ‘break-up’ is key to how your former customer will talk about your business going forward.

Remember, not all break ups are irrevocable. Perhaps you can ‘break-up’ with benefits? They may not want to use your services anymore but perhaps they’ll still be happy to receive your marketing.

 

How to encourage your customers to spread the word?

 

Create a reviews platform

Whether that's Google Reviews or something more industry-led like Trip Advisor, it's important to give your customers a soapbox to voice their opinions. After all, isn't it better to know where your customers are talking about you? Which brings us to...

 

Keep tabs on your mentions

Reviews via social media is by far the most popular way for a customer to speak about your brand – but don’t just assume your customer will tag you in their comment.

Run a search for your company name every morning or invest in a platform which does this for you. Keeping ahead of negative reviews is the first step to managing any fall-out from them. Finally, set up Google Alerts for your brand name which will alert you every time your company is being mentioned on the world wide web.

 

Be open to all kinds of comments

Trying to "police" your reviews is never a good idea. If an unhappy customer gives you a bad review, offer a public response to it right away. Don't incite a flame war. Empathise with your customer's experience and assure them (and their followers) that this is not how you normally do business. Invite them to email your services team to help resolve their problem.

 

Summary: Why is customer advocacy important?

 

Happy customers will bring you sales – whether that’s from repeat custom or through their recommendations to their friends.

Be user-focussed – allow your customer’s behaviour to shape your service.

Devote as much energy to customer retention as you do attracting new customers.

Reviews are everything – give your customers a platform on which to share their experiences.

Keep tabs on where you’re mentioned online – particularly on social media.

Respond quickly and responsibly to bad reviews – always offering a solution to the problem.


 

To find out how FINALLY can help you to develop your inbound approach, get in touch with our team.