From a Lead to a Brand Ambassador: A Customer’s Journey
‘Customer is the king’- This was, is, and will always be a true fact!
But, they have an abundant of different choices available nowadays. It, often, ends up making marketers scratch their heads to figure out what can satisfy the consumers best.
A big obstacle marketers face when they’re trying to promote a business lies in the fact that consumers have learned how to ignore not only ads but content resembling them. Besides, 84% of customers trust recommendations from influencers, friends, family, and peers over brand messaging, while the same percentage of millennial customers distrust traditional marketing and don’t like it at all.
It’s clear that good old word-of-mouth marketing comes off as more genuine and persuasive, which is why it’s extremely important to wow your leads and nurture them into becoming first your die-hard customers and finally your brand ambassadors.
But how will you do that?
Amaze Them With Your Offer
This is the first and most important factor when it comes to converting your leads and getting them to come back for more.
A product or service which is unique, in the sense that it brings something fresh to an overcrowded and oversaturated market and attracts your target audience by offering something they highly value is a must for recruiting brand ambassadors.
For example, when the iPod appeared, it wasn’t the first MP3 player, but it managed to leave its competition in the dust with its superb design, user-friendly interface, and a capability to hold more music than any other similar device. Naturally, people loved it and soon the first Apple fanboys and fangirls appeared. These passionate fans can still be seen waiting hours and even days in long lines when Apple’s new product is about to hit stores.
Provide Top-Notch Customer Service
While it’s true that having a superb product is essential, it’s not enough to build loyalty. The thrill and exhilaration after a new purchase don’t last forever, but the way you treat your customers and how you make them feel does. You must provide an effortless customer experience to ensure your leads feel content and finally, stick to your brand.
So, it’s all about establishing a strong emotional connection with your customers. They should feel heard and valued. For instance, inbound and outbound call center services can prove to be extremely helpful here. With that, all your customer queries will be addressed and you can spread the right word about your business to the right people at the right time respectively. This will eventually strengthen your relationship with customers.
Moreover, in today’s world, nobody wants to wait. Hence, it is a smart idea to incorporate 24×7 live chat as an integral part of your customer service strategy to make sure your existing and prospective buyers are always happy.
John R. DiJulius, author and customer experience specialist, stayed at a Ritz-Carlton hotel and forgot to pack his laptop charger upon leaving. Before he even got a chance to call and solve this issue, the very next day DiJulius received a package with not only his charger but an additional one, accompanied by a personal note from a customer service rep from the Ritz-Carlton.
And we know all this because DiJulius was so amazed that he wrote about this example of exceptional customer service in his book.
Engage Your Customers
As we’ve already said, people don’t like traditional marketing and advertising. The blatant promotion of your brand is perceived as an interruption, and it annoys your customers.
Instead of pushing your agenda heavily, you should make a shift towards the “advertising as a service” concept.
Relevant content is instrumental in creating a customer-centric approach which will engage your customers by offering them useful and helpful advice.
Nike has developed its own activity tracker which is compatible with iPhone and Android devices. Apart from measuring different metrics, this app comes with a number of useful workout tips and other resources that can come in handy, thus keeping them close to the brand on a daily basis.
It’s a good idea to develop your own custom app which will allow your customers to communicate with you directly, get all the information about your brand in one place, and engage with it regularly. Here’s how you can leverage such an app to make your customers feel special and unique, which is something that will upgrade them to the brand ambassador status:
- Special offers only for those who download your custom app and register with their email address;
- Functionalities that will make a seamless purchasing experience, for example, they can provide their credit card during the first purchase and later on skip this tedious step;
- Use gamification or artificial intelligence (AI) to entertain them and make the entire purchasing experience fun;
- Make it easy for your customers to build a community around your products and discuss different practices or issues.
User-generated content is one of the best ways to involve your customers in your promotion, at the same time making them and their needs the focal point of your brand.
Customer reviews, testimonials, case studies and success stories created with the help of your loyal, happy customers will press the right buttons and not only attract new leads, but also get those who participated in creating said content to feel even more connected to your brand and more loyal.
Buffer, a social media management tool, has quite an engaged following on Instagram. What’s very uncommon about it is that the followers are those who almost exclusively provide content for Buffer’s Instagram. The company encourages its users and prospects to send them pictures from different places they visit and publishes them, thus promoting and acknowledging the authors.
Needless to say, people like it when someone respects them and their efforts, which is why this campaign is so successful. It also turns users into brand ambassadors in a very natural and genuine manner – there’s no branded messaging incorporated in this approach. Not to mention, users get more exposure for their own work.
Recruiting your customers to become your brand ambassadors starts even before they make their first purchase. This is a long-term process, and lasts throughout their customer journey – first, you attract them with your offer and then nurture them even after they purchase from you. The strategies we mention in this article will point you in the right direction and help you get under your customers’ skin.
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.