Looking at the customer service experience from the customer’s point of view is essential in keeping customers and building relationships with new and existing ones, but it goes deeper than that. It’s long been established that the average satisfied customer will tell two-three people about their experience with a company and a dissatisfied customer will share their lament with eight-ten people to avoid the company responsible for the dissatisfaction (and that was before the days of social media). But what if those customers have a positive customer experience? Is this not just as powerful an emotion to share with their friends, colleagues and social media connections?
The simple answer is, of course customers that have a positive experience will share their thoughts and opinions... enter the brand advocate.
Brand advocates are a hugely valuable tool for businesses, providing a marketing asset and genuine opportunity for engagement with a well defined peer audience, contributing to the growth and profitability of the company. But as a business, how do you create brand advocates? Here are two recent examples I have experienced.
Providing Great ServiceI have been using a certain shop for some time and they have offered value as well as reliable delivery. To my surprise, the shop was one of the biggest distributors in the UK, although I had no idea how big they were as each time I called to place an order they would always treat me like I was their only customer. They also seem to listen to their customers, are adept at finding a solution for any complaint and ultimately, make me feel like they know me better than any of their competitors.
This exceptional level of service leaves me satisfied, ensures I recognise their brand and is enough for me to choose them over their competitors. Going further, I will happily recommend this particular retailer to people I know, which is a huge step in trust and loyalty.
Investing in CustomersAnother example is a close friend that is a passionate follower of a particular technology brand. Because of his support for their products on social media, he has picked up a wealth of free products and tickets to showbiz events. This is a “win win” for everybody involved; the technology company is able to turn someone who already follows their brand into a vocal advocate across the social media landscape, whilst the customer who receives free gifts, is made to feel valued and part of something bigger.
Understandably this won’t work for every business, but both examples have a common feature – the delivery of an outstanding customer experience. All businesses can learn that giving a WOW experience to customers is key to building loyalty, trust and advocacy. Whether it’s providing fast, convenient and reliable service, or being responsive to your customers’ needs and investing in them, customer experiences are now the key differentiator and can provide a competitive edge.