How to Turn Every Customer into a Brand Advocate

brand-advocates

When I find a good brand, I make a big whoop about it.

I love to shop just as much as the next girl, but it’s overwhelming to see such similar products sold by different companies. So when I find a good one, I latch on. I’ll tell all my friends, Tweet my loyalty, and review the products. I’ll continue to shop from them, and I’ll rarely turn to a competitor.

Let’s recap: word-of-mouth marketing, social media advocacy, repeat buying, public reviews, and complete loyalty.

This is what we call “striking gold.”
Brands that create a holistic, memorable and exceptional experience for their customers know how valuable this level of loyalty is. It encourages your customers to evangelize your product, allowing you to keep the few marketing dollars you have. Sounds magical, right?

Now, not every shopper will go hyper-beast mode on marketing like I do, so it’ll take work. But with these following tips, customers will come back for more and tell all their friends to join, too:

Create a practical website experience

I notice this issue most with restaurants. One of my biggest pet-peeves when I visit a restaurant’s website is when they bury one of two things - the location or the menu. If I have to dig to find it, you’ve made it too hard.

When building and maintaining your website, think of your audience. Why are they visiting? What is the most important thing they need to know? How often are you moving things around? What is your best selling item and is it easy to find?

This doesn’t mean you can’t test things or get creative with how a viewer experiences your brand. But the best practice is to think about what your customer is looking for and keep the navigational experience uncomplicated. If there are multiple items you’d like to feature, dedicate a hero image that changes. For repeat visitors, make it easy to find the products they love and know where to look for new ones.

They’ve already made it to your website - don’t make them work to buy a product.

Check out these posts: 
The 4 Key Elements to a Successful Product Page
5 Ways Online Shoppers Grade Your Website

 

Make returns pain-free

This may seem like an odd way to lure customers, but it works. Buying items online can be intimidating. Typically, I’ll online “window” shop for things I want, and if there is a store around me - I’ll go in to buy the product. But this can’t happen if you don’t have accessible brick-and-mortar shops in every city.

But what I’ve realized is that I get anxiety thinking about how difficult it will be to return the item. What if I forget? Will I have to pay extra to ship it back? This seems like a waste! Forget it.

A great example of a company who makes returns easy is Zappos. They often promote it right on its homepage and throughout the website. This provides shoppers with a safety net that says, “Hey! Don’t like our products? No worries! We’ll gladly take them off your hands.”

Be clear with what the rules are, make it affordable and most of all - convenient.

 

Treat us with a bonus gift

“Oooo! A surprise gift just for me?”

This is a typical response I say out loud, to no one, when I receive something as small as a facial oil sample or teeny-tiny coin purse with a purchase. These thoughtful little tokens go a long way, building a memorable experience for your customers. It’s easy to feel like businesses are all about the transactions, but when you step out of the same ol’ process we see everywhere, us shoppers never forget.

Dig through your old inventory bins and shuffle through your stockroom. There are bound to be products you can afford to boost customer experience and not sacrifice too many dollars.

 

Offer a rewards program

Providing a way for customers to feel like they’re earning something unique is key in customer loyalty. If you break down rewards programs, a lot of them aren’t all that beneficial - we see right through them. But if you do it right, you can create a community of brand evangelists who are passionate about the same thing - your product. And that’s a pretty awesome place to be when you’re trying to grow your business.

There are lots of ways you can offer rewards programs, so make sure that if you start one, you can keep it up. You don’t want to forget someone who has done their work at receiving points, only to be forgotten.


Well, there you have it! Four things you can do today to boost brand loyalty and get your customers talking. Just remember, be consistent in the experience you provide customers and communicate these values across every team.

Have other tips on how you’ve built brand loyalty? Share with us below!
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