Everyone knows that it takes 25 times more money to earn a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. However, there is another side of this statistic that is not often discussed and commonly overlooked.
Due to costing less to sell to current customers, they are your most valuable commodity when it comes to marketing touchpoints. In fact, they are your best hope for recruiting new fans of your product or service.
In recent studies, they have more than proved that customer advocacy is not only a smart move; it is becoming a necessity in business. Take a look at the statistics below for further proof.
- Word of mouth marketing is responsible for up to 50% of all purchasing decisions. This is not just online, but offline sales as well.
- More than 75% of Generation X and Millennials trust the content that is created by users than they do content created by your brand.
- When it comes to your brand’s pages, there has been a 2% drop in organic reach on Facebook and a 30% drop on Instagram. This shows us that users are becoming less and less interested in brand pages. Therefore, the likelihood is increasing that the newest generations are not even seeing the content you create.
Content advocacy is not something that happens overnight. Instead, it takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment from every level of your company to prove you are worthy of such advocacy.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can turn your customers into your most effective marketing channel.
In today’s digital age, smart companies are breaking down corporate barriers. The barriers once prevented open communication from the consumer to the brand. Even though these companies are taking the vital first steps, they have to do more. They need to take it a step further and begin encouraging open and honest two-way communication with their customers.
Whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not, people are talking about your brand. If you are looking to build your customer advocacy, you need to take proactive steps towards injecting yourself into these conversations. It is up to you, as business owners, to share the responsibility of shaping the positive customer experience. The only way to accomplish this is to converse with your customers.
Promote a Customer-First Mentality
I am sure you have all heard the phrase, “the customer is always right.” While this is a simple motto, it doesn’t go far enough. If you expect to have customer advocates, you need to put the customer experience as your number one priority. Businesses that do this will thrive, and the ones that don’t will flop.
Customers want to know that you genuinely care about their experience. They want to know that their satisfaction is at the top of your list. What makes them know this? When they feel you are listening to their needs and their grievances.
If you want the customer to go the extra mile for you, there must be an effort on your part to go the extra mile for them. In this instance, it is a quid pro quo relationship.
Personalize Your Messaging
Personalization has changed the face of the business world. No longer is it prudent or acceptable to simply add their name to the subject line in an email. To give your customers the impression that you are tailoring the experience to them, you have to go a few steps further. We know there are loads of data that can be found about each of our customers. When sending them a mail, start by mentioning other products they may be interested in. Doing so will send the message that you are genuinely interested in the purchases they make. You may even remind them they forgot to buy something that would make the job easier for them to complete. It’s the little things that will make a difference.
Your customers are more than account numbers or transactions. Each one of them has a list of unique wants, needs, and expectations from your company. Look for them, and you will be well only your way to personalizing a message to them.
In addition to the recommendations suggested above, you might want to start sending your customers a birthday card or a personalized letter from the CEO. These little acts can go a long way in cementing your name permanently in their minds.
Give Them Something to Believe In
Have you ever wondered why direct sales have become the monumental industry it is today? True, direct sales have always been a massive part of the market, but it seems they are getting the lion’s share lately. It is not the products they are selling; it is the dream.
Non-direct sales companies can take a page from these companies. When you sell a product or service to a client, don’t just sell them on what the product can do. Rather, sell them on the full effects they can benefit from by using the product or service. Teach your sales team the benefit of pitching a product in the right way, and you will see your name rise in the world.
Creating a customer advocate can be the best investment your company has. It is not an easy path, but one worth venturing down. As you can see from the points above, you will need to have a customer-focused team willing to go the extra mile for their clients. I did say the team. It is not good enough to have one or two people selling your company. Everyone in the company must be focused on doing the little things right to make your customers want to tell everyone they know about your product or service. In today’s business model, this is an essential tool that you can have at your disposal. Do it right, and you will be rewarded with customers that will do the selling for you.