Who do you trust the most? An advertisement or your friend, colleague or family member who has tested the product or service before you? Aren't your loyal customers in the best position to sell your value proposition?
84% of people say they no longer trust advertisements of any kind. They trust the people they know and who have experienced the product or service. So your customers are your best showcase, your greatest sales force.
But to capitalize on them, you have to turn them into ambassadors.
This step is the final point of our conversion tunnel that will allow you to maximize your profits in a sustainable way.
Should you segment and select certain people or rely on all your customers? The strategies differ, but both are possible.
GoPro, for example, has decided not to segment and to give everyone a chance. At the beginning of the product launch, the brand had contacted well-known ambassadors to promote the brand. Then, they called all their customers, offering them to send their photos and videos taken with their cameras and become the publication of the day. It was from this point on that the brand became a runaway success and word of mouth only increased the awareness of GoPro.
We believe that a happy and satisfied customer will talk about the product and the brand around him and in good faith. This is what creates confidence in the product and makes the company sustainable.
Ad's up consulting, which we will talk about in more detail later, also relies on all of its customers to make itself known. For them, word of mouth is their primary source for creating a reputation and visibility, so the more their clients talk about them, the better.
Another way would be to focus on the customer satisfaction rate and retain those who are the most loyal and therefore the most likely to convey a positive image of your company.
In this case, you need to be able to rank your customers and determine which ones are the most engaged. You will surely find people with a large coverage on social networks and therefore with a potentially large audience. According to this strategy, they are the ones you need to target. Beyond being fans, they share your values and will defend them as fervently as you do. An ambassador will be able to promote your brand because he is truly convinced of the value you bring to your customers.
Ad's up consulting makes it a point of honor to ensure the satisfaction of all their clients. They call them 1 month after their presentation to collect opinions on their activity as well as on the team via a questionnaire allowing them to glean key information. They renew this call 6 months after the beginning of the service and then every year. It is essential for them that all customers respond and they do not hesitate to follow up when this is not the case. For greater transparency, they use an external service provider so as not to bias the answers. Once this information has been collected, they identify customer ambassadors through these questionnaires and through customer interactions. Once identified, they are invited to speak out and share their experience, a more authentic and trustworthy sharing than an advertisement or a commercial action.
Even before identifying potential ambassadors, you need to convey your values, be transparent and gain the trust of your customers.
Start by measuring customer satisfaction but don't forget to manage dissatisfaction quickly and efficiently.
Once this is done, be open and let your customers express themselves. It is important to facilitate customer feedback, as it will give you food for thought and improvement. Make sure that your customers can say what they think when they want to and in full transparency. Once you have established a climate of trust, your customers will feel free to express themselves.
Show them that their opinion is important to you, that you are listening to them and that you are in a constant improvement process. They will feel pampered and valued. Their satisfaction and feedback will be even more positive.
Only then can you start to identify potential ambassadors for your brand. This is when a marketing and sales strategy around customer communication is put in place.
Once identified, you must contact them and propose a partnership, a collaboration. You can offer them advantages such as discount coupons, gifts or loyalty points if such a system is set up in your company.
You need to pay special attention to your ambassadors.
For example, you can include them in your communication strategy and show them that their opinion counts, that they are listened to. You will be able to co-innovate and co-create, because who is better able to tell you what to improve or invent than a customer? He is the one who consumes and will share his ideas with you, what, according to him, could bring even more value to your products and will incite new customers to buy from you, and will encourage the old ones to renew their purchases.
You can also reward them with special offers or previews. Making them feel special will reinforce the bond you have already established with these customers. Everyone likes to be pampered, and the same goes for your customers and even more so for your ambassadors. Quality of service is at the heart of this model.
Create a win-win strategy. An ambassador who gives you visibility and a positive image will bring you customers, so you need to give something back to your ambassadors. Referral strategies are usually very effective. Offer rewards linked to the number of customers that the ambassadors will have sponsored, even put your different ambassadors in competition, in order to encourage them to talk about you and bring you more customers. At the end of this competition, you could offer an attractive reward to motivate the troops. You could even consider a win-win strategy. You could give new customers advantages for their entry into your customer base, for example, by granting your ambassadors promotional codes. This way, you, the company, your ambassadors and your new customers will win.
Once all this is in place, you need to keep this community of ambassadors alive. You can find new ways to engage them such as proposing them to create content that will be proposed to the brand, and always in a competitive way, the best content will be chosen for the next communication and the ambassador who created it will be rewarded. You could do this as a competition. The ambassadors working on the content could ask for opinions from their entourage, which would only generate more word of mouth and therefore increase your visibility and reputation.
That's what Starbucks did in 2014 by asking its customers to draw on their cups and post their creations on social media. The winner had their cup created as a limited edition.
Is the B2B and B2C reality the same when it comes to customer loyalty and ambassador programs?
Let's take the example of e-commerce sites. For them, the need to have loyal, satisfied customers who speak well of them, is more than felt. Indeed, 95% of online buyers consult customer reviews before going to the final stage of ordering. Thus, these external and positive reviews are essential to win new consumers. So why not maximize your chances of winning new customers by implementing programs to make your users' positive feedback known to as many people as possible?
38% of people don't trust e-commerce sites, so we need to give them reasons to want to go to the step we are interested in, which is buying the products.
But in this case, it's about talking about products. In the business world, how does that work? You can't give a coupon for the next order.
In B2B, the reality remains the same. 84% of executives rely on testimonials, opinions and comments to choose their suppliers and providers.
Thus, creating a community that shares your values and speaks about you in good faith and by conviction is very important.
In addition to the above, you have to make sure that you are part of your customers' landscape, that you are part of their daily life by offering additional services, accompaniment, help or business support. Your customers must be used to seeing you in the background of their ecosystem. Be a crutch for them.
Then, show your appreciation for them, don't offer derisory rewards that don't make sense, such as for example, after 10 subscription renewals they receive a mug with your company logo. Prove to them that counting them among your customers is a privilege that you know how to appreciate.
And finally, show them your respect, show that they are not just anyone to you, especially by personalizing and contextualizing your exchanges. Go further than the email with the name of your contact and the name of their company. Today, even if you have automated these mailings, you can push personalization beyond these limits.
Your customers will always be the best representatives of what you have to sell. Make sure you measure their satisfaction, solve problems with reactivity and be transparent. Finally, don't hesitate to create an emotional bond with your customers and to show your generosity, they will know how to return it to you.