Want to turn customers into brand ambassadors? Focus on building customer loyalty.
There’s a reason why people tend to trust brand ambassadors more than the brand itself: product or service reviews sound more like testimonials rather than direct advertisements.
Thus, to surround their brand with influential representatives, many organizations hire endorsers, who would talk about them in a positive light. But what if you can do this in a more organic way?
While this process can take up more time, it can greatly pay off in the long run. The secret? Turn your customers into brand ambassadors by gaining their confidence, and then, encourage them to talk about you.
How does a customer evolve into a “loyal” customer?
Nowadays, it seems that all entrepreneurs know the perfect ingredients in fostering loyalty among their target consumers. Still, customer loyalty remains an elusive goal. There could be tons of reasons why marketing strategies sometimes don’t work, and entrepreneurs often encounter unforeseeable situations.
Simply put, grooming loyal customers is far from being an exact science. If we break down the process by which customers evolve into outspoken brand advocates, we’ll find these three basic phases:
1. They choose you.
A customer choosing you is always a great sign that your marketing efforts are working. Something about you—what you do and what you say online or in other channels—convinced them to pick you over other choices. You have to pinpoint what exactly it is you’re doing right and then boost that strategy even more.
2. They choose you again.
After a customer chooses you, the next step is to persuade them to stick around. If they choose you again, it’s not because of your marketing strategies anymore. This time, it’s because you’ve performed well and have satisfied their expectations.
3. They believe in you.
This is when you know for sure that your customers will remain by your side. They’ve singled you out as one of the most reliable brands out there, and it will remain that way unless you perform poorly.
Creating Customer Brand Ambassadors
Having a loyal base of customers is almost the same thing as having brand ambassadors. The only thing left to do is nudge them toward the right direction by encouraging them to talk about your brand. Here’s how you can do that.
1. Get to know your customers.
Behind customer loyalty are great brand–customer relationships. You have to know who your most loyal customers are, where they’re from, and what types of content they like to post. This way, you’ll know who’s already talking about you and your products.
2. Give them something to talk about.
Here are some useful tips to get your brand ambassadors talking about you:
- Send them product samples for beta testing.
- Encourage them to post product or service reviews, but allow them to write their honest opinions freely.
- Involve them in the process of creating or improving your products and services.
3. Recognize and thank them.
Make sure to mention your brand ambassadors through your social media pages as well. It can be as simple as retweeting or sharing their posts. You can also promote their blogs or social pages to your followers or tag them in your status updates.
4. Fuel their enthusiasm.
Send them gifts, reward them with discounts, or offer exclusive privileges. The idea is to make your customers love you even more. If you maintain your good performance, they’ll naturally want to tell their friends about you.