Advertising dollars are being watched carefully these days; companies need to spend their advertising budget carefully, trying to get the most impact for the least amount of money to stay competitive in the marketplace.
One possibly overlooked ad spend is on brand advocates – those customers who are truly raving fans of your business. These consumers can be an excellent marketing tool, as word of mouth is becoming a prominent factor in consumer purchasing decisions. Studies are consistently showing that word of mouth advertising has more of an effect on consumers than more traditional forms of advertising, such as radio ads, commercials, etc.
Take a look at this great video clip that explains a bit more about brand advocates and their importance to your business:
Companies can increase their brand advocates quickly by keeping a few customer service rules in mind:
1. Consistently delivery superior products: ensure that consumer needs are met with your products & services, and provide a little “something extra” that will keep customers coming back for more. Find out what your customers need, and what they would like to see in your stores. Listen to their needs and respond accordingly.
2. Consistently delivery stellar service: in today’s world, real-time response to consumer needs is becoming the norm. Make sure your company responds to all customer inquiries quickly, provide first call resolution when possible to complaints, and ensure your staff on the front lines are providing consistent, strong service levels each and every time.
3. Consistently deliver and excellent experience: much like the point above, make sure your consumer touchpoints are geared toward service excellence, and no matter where your consumers are doing business with you, whether its onsite, online, or on your social media sites, that you’re doing all you can to provide the best experience for your consumers.
The “rules” are straightforward, and really nothing new. As the consumer culture shifts, though, it is a good idea to periodically review the above points to make sure your company is adjusting to any shifts in your consumer base to ensure that your brand advocates will continue sharing their positive experiences and your “army of advocates” grows!