5 Ways to Turn Your Customers into Brand Ambassadors
We live in a review culture. People want to hear about new products and services from those who have used them rather than who is selling it to them. That’s why current, happy customers are an organization’s best tool in securing future ones and enhancing their reputation. Having a wealth of customer testimonials help to build a consistent, validated brand image. Read on for five tips for how you can turn your customers into brand ambassadors:
Ink the Deal
When writing up customer contracts, put the potential for media and marketing opportunities on the table immediately and aim high. Don’t stop for asking for a logo on your website; go for full participation in media and marketing efforts – quotes, testimonials, case studies, blog posts and Q&As. Even if the customer doesn’t agree to everything, you’re opening up a conversation. When customers ask what’s in it for them, remind them that it’s free promotion: they’ll be seen as smart business leaders, thought leaders and innovators.
Motivate Your Sales Team
Educate your salesforce, who are closest with customers and prospects, on what makes a customer-use case pitch-worthy. Through that process, reinforce the idea that it’s worth their time on this initiative as the customer stories speak volumes to prospects—and makes their jobs easier as salespeople.
Don’t Forget the C-Suite
It’s equally important to get the C-Suite on board with your efforts to reinforce the message that every customer is important. If executives foster a culture that celebrates customer success, that attitude will trickle down.
Create a Customer Advisory Board
When you treat your customers like partners, they trust you and want to see you succeed. A Customer Advisory Board is a good avenue to build those relationships. Customers want to feel that their voices are heard, especially by the companies they’ve invested time and money in. They will feel valued if you treat them like thought leaders and experts. Customer Advisory Boards gives customers an opportunity to speak freely about how they feel about your product or service, feedback that can be used to refine what you’re selling.
Conduct a Customer Survey
If customers are reluctant to speak out, so be it, but that shouldn’t prevent you from creating compelling data or storylines. Opt for an anonymous or blind customer survey to gather data on the value of your product or service and get responses from customers who are normally tight-lipped. If the responses are interesting, it can be a jumping-off point for a media campaign, blog and social media posts.
While skilful reputation management has always been key to the success of a brand, never before has the atmosphere of review culture been more pervasive. Work with your team on how customer stories can map to your brand’s unique objectives.
By Maura FitzGerald, V2 Communications