In today’s day and age, it is not difficult to bring out a quality product or find customers for it. It is, however, difficult to sustain those customers and their loyalty. The task of the customer relations team does not end with the purchase; it begins with it. With a single purchase, you have a chance to turn your one-time customer into a valued promoter. Yes, there is a difference between the two. While the first will buy your product and may or may not return, the latter is loyal to your brand and will not only spread awareness and goodwill about it but will also defend it. It is important for your brand to have organic promoters since people seek the opinion of other users before making a purchase. It is especially important to have a presence on social media as that is where people share their ‘feel good’ or ‘horror’ PR stories with a larger audience.
Here are a few strategies you should implement to turn your customers into promoters:
24×7 Service Through Multiple Channels
Provide your customers with exceptional services which they can avail whenever they want. For this, you need to have multiple channels that cater to the needs of your customers. This is especially important if you have a global presence and have international clients. You should be able to respond swiftly to the queries, requests and feedback of your customers. The two-way communication and speedy resolution of issues help in building a robust relationship between your brand and your customers. People tend to have a positive opinion of such brands and are more likely to recommend them to their friends. Such customers tend to share these experiences on not just Twitter or Facebook, but also on image and idea sharing platforms like Imgur, and Reddit. Such posts, if they seem authentic and are able to garner enough goodwill, have a tendency to go viral.
In the last decade, the focus of customer engagement has moved online. Previously almost all such engagement was done offline. You should remember that not all of your customers a technology savvy and that you have to invest in both online and offline channels to engage all of your customers.
Listen and Learn
People tend to respond positively to companies that listen to them – in terms of what they want and how they want it. If you are a company that records its employees’ interaction with its customers, be sure to make use of the data collected. Review the transcripts of those calls and chats to find out what ails your customers the most and fix it. Mine the content or data for information on problem areas and work on them. This way you’ll be able to provide solutions for problems of which you were previously unaware. This not only helps in improving sales and customer engagement but also helps in the product design.
Engage with Customers Online
If you want your customers to promote your brand, you have to create a brand worth promoting. The two aspects that your customers will judge you on are your products and your service. It will not benefit you to focus on one and neglect the other; you need to balance the two in order to create a satisfactory customer experience. When you engage your customers, show them that your value their views and opinions. Doing this will improve your goodwill among them and they will promote your brand through word of mouth or on social media.
You can directly interact with your customers using your business website or your company’s social media accounts. Use these platforms to engage your followers. Put up polls, contests and hold events for your promoters to connect with them on a one-on-one basis.
Offer Personalised Responses or Rewards
- No one likes being muddled together. People want to be identified as separate individuals and personalised responses go a long way in fashioning a bona fide relationship.
- Identify your top promoter and reward them with special deals and surprises.
- A personal letter from the marketing head or the CEO of the company further helps in creating a good image of your brand.
- Try Predictive Marketing. Using it you can extract information from customer data to determine a pattern and predict future outcomes and trends. This can be used to make informed decisions with respect to the preferences of your customers.
What Not to Do
- Do not tag or mention your customers without their approval. Respect your followers’ privacy.
- Never interact with a customer without having some knowledge about their association with your brand. Use Marketing Automation tools to know your customers, their preferences and relationship with your brand. Use the data at hand and only approach the customers after acquiring complete knowledge of their history with your company to make way for seamless and personalised interaction.
- Do not exploit sensitive issues for publicity. This goes for the customers in particular and society in general. Even if you have done something nice for your customers, do not brag about it on social media. Let your customers promote your brand organically for you. Give them a chance to share those stories themselves.
- Do not pay people to pose as organic promoters and share false ‘feel good’ stories about your brand. People on social media fact-check such stories and call the brands out on the fake ones. It will be a major PR disaster if you are caught doing something of the sort.
- Do not judge your followers on social media on the number of followers they have. By only interacting with those who have more followers, you lose on a largely untapped market.
- Do not forget your existing promoters in search of new ones. They were your original brand ambassadors and you cannot replace their loyalty.
Implement Net Promoter Score to Measure Customer Satisfaction
Net Promoter Score or NPS is “a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and claims to be correlated with revenue growth.” It measures how likely your customers are to refer your brand to their family, friends or colleagues. It helps in identifying the promoters (customers who are very likely to promote your brand) and detractors (customers who are unlikely to promote your brands). Once these customers have been identified as either promoters or detractors, you can implement different strategies to engage the two groups of customers. Keep your promoters happy and try to convert your detractors into promoters by addressing the problem that prevents them from referring you to others.
Encourage Your Customers to Posts Testimonials
When you provide your customers with great service, gently nudge them towards posting a testimonial. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a post; it can be a Facebook Like or Follow, or a Follow on Twitter or Instagram. They can even share it on their LinkedIn profile. Your customers’ association with your brand on social media will expose you to their family, friends and business network.
Social media has become imperative in today’s marketing scenario. With so many social media platforms out there, it becomes difficult to manage several accounts. An easier way to stay on top of all aspects of social media management is using a tool that automates the process. SmatSocial is one such tool that takes care of your social media management needs and leaves you to focus on other areas of your company.