No matter what type of business you are running, you will get run over if your focus is not on this one segment.
And no – it’s not your excellent 5-year plan, perks, strategy or funding – it’s your customers! Especially your most loyal customers.
The Customer Experience Framework
When you think about delivering what customers need, it’s helpful to look at Gartner’s customer experience pyramid – a framework for driving loyalty, satisfaction and advocacy.
Diagram 1.0: refers to a framework on customer experience (CX) – source: Gartner
Now that the highlights and image have your attention and curiosity, it’s important to differentiate between all customers and your loyal customers. Think of them as two parts of the same circle.
Diagram 2.0: Above circle refers to a general business with 500 customers – the larger database, out of whom 100 are the most vocal admirers (advocates) – the inner circle
The biggest goal for a business is to make all of its customers happy but as can be seen from the diagram above – the truth is that you retain some, you lose some, and you (unintentionally) disappoint some. Not everyone is satisfied with the products or services you offer, but the ones who are should be given all the necessary attention while you focus on converting the rest.
Listen, Learn, Love: You Customer Advocacy Strategy
Customer advocacy is creating stellar marketing and customer support that works in your favor by turning your best clients into your advocates.
These advocates then go around spreading the word about the brand they love (YOU), isn’t that all we want?
The road though straight isn’t smooth. There are certain ways you can step up your game to improve your customer advocacy strategy:
LISTEN: Keep regular checks to identify your brand’s biggest advocates on social: Make this a weekly goal. Add all of the supporters in the database and keep updating their details. Also, listen to the negative comments, to the criticism, to the bullies – you don’t have to respond to all but the ones where it’s necessary, be polite and fix it!
Here’s how a brand advocate would look like:
— Brandon (@Launerts) January 7, 2020
LEARN: Understand what your customers are saying by turning their online conversations about your brand into actionable insights. Learning not just about the people who interact with your accounts, but also how your organization can worry less about message control, is vital to creating educational and effective relationships between consumer and brand.
LOVE: Show your customers you care by creating personalized marketing, customer care, and engagement. For every, “I love your service,” respond by saying, “We love you too!”
Remember with all of these strategies, consistency is the key. Just because you engaged with an advocate or sent over a goodie to the most loyal customer last month doesn’t mean you can cross your arms and wait for the weekend. Repeat the process. Keep engaging, keep delighting, keep empowering, and keep surprising.
Key action item: Before repeating the process, there should be an ‘off day’ wherein you track the analytics of all the advocacy efforts put in and look at the metrics, see what worked and what didn’t, what was the SLA, KPIs and more. Move forth with the best strategies and replace the ones that went haywire. This should be done bi-weekly or by the end of each month.
Need more convincing? A great customer experience drives sales. According to a survey of Twitter users, 67% say they’ve decided to purchase a product because of an interaction with a brand on social media.
Every business needs a consistent customer-centric approach. The crux of your business is making your customers happier. It’s not just important to acquire a customer, it’s crucial to retain them in the long run by maintaining their belief and love for the product they signed up for at the very beginning.