TL;DR: Customers are not going to share your business with their friends unless you give them a good enough reason.
It’s unrealistic to believe you can turn all visitors into avid customers. But, by making your customers feel like they are more than just another dollar in your pocket, you can definitely convince some to spread the word about your business. If you can do this, chances are greater they will share your product or services with others. Customers who are willing to promote you to their network will not only bring you more business — they’re way more likely to become repeat customers themselves.
According to Sujan Patel, former owner of Single Grain:
“Customers don’t become advocates without reason. They have to identify with and feel affiliated with your brand.”
With that in mind, here is a mix of suggestions on how to turn customers into your best marketing tool:
Reward your avid customers with refer-a-friend or loyalty programs
Set up a refer-a-friend program that offers your customers valuable perks each time they refer a friend who purchases from you. Or perhaps a loyalty program that rewards customers with benefits or points every time they buy from you. These tactics will not only build loyalty with your current customers, but also help to expand your customer base via word of mouth marketing.
Try not to focus on selling your customers
No one likes to be sold, and if you do this, your customers will know. According to Jeff Bullas, it’s best to let your customers decide whether or not they want to buy or share your brand based on how useful and engaging the content is that you provide.
Create something new to give away for free
Show your customers that it’s not always about you increasing your profits. Your genuine concern and appreciation for them are what gives them reasons to want to advocate for your brand. Giving away something for free (t-shirt, e-book, how-to, etc.) will show that you do not take their patronage for granted. As will surprising them with an unexpected gift (goodie bag, account upgrade, etc.).
Make sure you offer your customers a chance to give feedback
As Carole Robin from the Stanford Graduate School of Business always says: “feedback is a gift.”
Building a feedback loop between your business and your customers is a surefire way to gain insight into how customers feel about your business practices and your ability to live up to your promises. It is the most telling way to learn where you stand in accordance to your customers.
Always be honest with your customers
This is a big one. We all know that trust takes some time to build and that a single incident can quickly disrupt that. So if you make a mistake, get out in front of it as soon as possible. Be honest with your customers about what happened, and why. People are more forgiving if you tell them the truth as opposed to trying to cover it up, and are more willing to share your response with others if they feel you handled it properly.
Understand exactly what your customers need
Get versed in your customers. Know them so well that you are able to speak their language and design your products and services accordingly. If customers feel that you “get them,” they are more prone to market your product to others.
Interact with your customers on social media
Getting customers to share your products, services, and content with their followers takes more than just submitting a post. It’s important to connect with your customers by responding to their questions and comments, and getting involved in online conversations. Engage and interact with them by following, liking other pages, and sharing information with them from other authoritative sites. In other words, show them that you are a real person just like them.
These are just a few, but there are a plethora of tips and tricks you can use to help turn avid customers into marketing assistants for your brand. So please get in touch Bizzy Ecommerce Email Marketing for assistance building brand recognition for your business and growing loyal relationships with your customers.