4 Ways To Turn Your Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are better advertisers than even the most strategically marketed advertising plans specifically made for your business by agencies. Brand ambassadors are more likely to be seen as a good source of information by people around them.
In fact, when you think about the fact that most consumer purchases include word-of-mouth recommendation during the whole buying phase, businesses would realize that brand advocacy is a necessity and would even be the best investment to get into because of its very promising return on investment.
The question is how does a business turn their customers into brand ambassadors?
This is common sense but a brand advocate has a voice on both sides - the product/service and the consumer. He lets others know how great your product or service is and at the same time he provides keen insight and feedback on how to improve your product or service. Given that most brand ambassadors are not paid nor are popular influencers with a large following, word of mouth is their method of sharing.
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In this digital age, word of mouth has included social media
and blogging platforms. Customer engagement is crucial to transforming and retaining brand advocates and critical to a brand's success. Ambassadors are essentially happy, satisfied customers! Remember this as you go through our tips on how to make your customers brand ambassadors.
1. Build a community.
Establish a community for your brand. A community has two components: a shared belief or principle and a common ground. Give them something to believe in by way of quality products/services and provide them a means for interaction. This comes easy - social media networks are great venues to interact with your customers and keep them engaged.
When you keep your customers engaged, they can share, discuss and learn from your business and other consumers. And as the head of the community, you need to listen, respond and engage appropriately - whether to reward by way of customer incentives, fix an issue or set the record straight.
Your customers take their cue from you on how to behave and interact in the community you built for them. If you treat them with respect and acknowledge what they say, they would also treat you and other customers the same way, even those who start as angry customers. When you respond to issues, help, and share information, you are directly teaching potential brand ambassadors what to do once they become one.
Sustaining a community is challenging. Keeping customers active is essential. It is best that you establish routines in your community - a posting schedule is your best bet. For example, you can start each week with a product/service tip, followed by promotions on the succeeding days, then giving them the floor by asking for suggestions or feedback by the end of the week.
2. Be a good listener and learn.
When you build your community right, your customers do not only learn but are encouraged to share information to other people outside your community too. But before they even go out and transform into advocates, they would want to know if you are listening to what they say AND if you are doing something about it. Whether acknowledging their praises or improving your product or service based on their feedback, customers want to be heard. When they share an opinion, it is a sign that they are involved with your product or service.
And when they don't, ask. There are so many ways to engage your customer - asking them by making voting polls online, opening discussion threads in forums or simply posting on social media channels.
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3. Listen to the feedback and make changes.
Feedback from your customers is very crucial to the success of your business. A sign that you are listening to your customers is when you make changes based on their feedback. While there is no way to ensure that changes satisfy every customer, these offer a great way to reassure your customers that you are trying to give them what they want and ensuring they will let others know of your effort.
4. Reward your customers.
Your brand critics are closer to your brand advocacy than you think. Ignoring a critical (and irate or grouchy) customer might not do any harm for now, but it will not do your brand any good either. Your best way to handle critics is to work with them so you can respond to his issues, learn in the process and in the end, satisfy him. You are both on the winning end.
Of course, you can only help so many customers. And this all goes back to why building communities for your brand is the first step in turning your customers into ambassadors.
When you give them a way to air their voices, acknowledge and respond to their feelings, learn from their feedback and let them know of the steps you are doing to give them what they want - you are indirectly nurturing a whole community of not just happy customers but brand ambassadors!About 40Billion.com
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