Friday, May 4, 2012

Turning customers into Brand Advocates


It's one thing to have customers, and loyal customers, at that.  But, what does it take to turn a customer into a "Brand Advocate".  This type of person is someone who will tell others about your brand with passion.  In fact, they will most likely tell the world through the use of Social Media.  There are three key components that need to be considered to transform customers into Brand Advocates:
  1. Company Culture
  2. Engagement
  3. Exceptional Experience
Company culture is the foremost ingredient to this transformation.  Each individual needs to be engaged with the company and need to have brought into its vision for success.  It is likely that a customer will encounter more than one person within your company, all of these people must be empowered to represent your brand in a positive and consistent way.  They need to be able to demonstrate the values of your company throughout all customer interactions.

Employees need to be empowered to engage with customers/prospects through the use of Social Media.  You trust them on the telephone, so why not trust them with social media?  Okay, the telephone is mostly one to one communication whereas, social media is one to world communication.  Guidelines need to be established so that employees know what the boundaries are and can feel comfortable  operating within them.

Strategies need to be put in place to create Exceptional Experiences.  Do you understand the buying process for a customer?  The process may begin through a response to a tweet or a visit to your website.  What is the experience of the customer?  I can hear some readers thinking, our website is great, it has excellent graphics, it is easy to navigate etc .....etc.  But, you need a website which is interactive, this could be the first point of customer engagement, you need to make sure that customers are able to engage no matter where they find themselves in the buying process.  The experience that they have online needs to be consistent with face to face interaction with your staff.

In the following video, I talk about an experience I had with a mens clothing shop by the name of "Munn's, the mans store".  They replaced a suit which I had for over a year.  It began to change colour and therefore they provided me with a brand new suit.  This was an exceptional experience which had not involvement of any online technology.  However, I blogged about the experience and to this day I see people have been searching google and have stumbled upon it.  Each time someone sees my independent, yet novice review, they will gain social trust and are likely to be willing to give the store a go.


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