Companies spend a lot of money on advertising to gain new customers, but the best form of advertising comes from your customers themselves. Save money and get your customers to market your company by providing an amazing customer experience.
Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report reveals the incredible power that your customers’ opinions have on others. 83% of people trust “earned advertising” such as recommendations from people they know. 66% trust opinions shared by customers online.
Taking the time to deliver amazing service allows you to shape your customer’s experience. This will ensure you have plenty of ambassadors working on your behalf. With a positive experience, your customers will be happy to spread the word about your great products and services without any impetus from you. Not only will they bring in new customers who already trust you, they’ll eagerly return to you time and time again.
How do you turn your customers into ardent ambassadors who willingly want to share how wonderful your company is with their friends and family?
You connect with them on a personal level.
Writing a personalized response on social media to a customer’s request gave Samsung Canada massive free, positive media coverage, both online and offline. A customer wrote and asked for a free phone. He included a drawing of a hand-drawn dragon.
Samsung responded nicely, saying “no”, but they included a drawing of a kangaroo on a unicycle in their response. The customer was so amused, he shared a screenshot on Reddit, where it went viral and landed on the front page. Thousands of users shared it, spawning articles in major publications like the Globe and Mail in Canada.
Because there was so much positive media coverage, Samsung Canada made a personalized phone that included the customer’s dragon drawing on it and sent it to him for free. He again posted it on Reddit, and the story was shared thousands of times all over again.
If you take the time to listen and respond to each customer’s needs individually, you will create an army of ambassadors. According to McKinsey & Company, word-of-mouth advertising can generate more than twice the sales of paid advertising. And since 67% of customers have used a company’s social media site for customer service requests, you can quickly and easily provide a positive experience using your social media accounts.
Strategies to improve your customer’s experience
You can easily shape each customer’s experience into a positive, memorable one without spending a lot of money. Use these examples to think about ways you can improve your customer interactions.
- Send a Hand-Written Note
Everything is digital today, but people still love to receive personalized, hand-written notes in the mail. Taking a few extra minutes to send a card of appreciation helps your customers remember you long after they’ve left your place of business. A small fashion-accessory brand named HEX had stiff competition from bigger brands, so they built their business by sending out 13,000 hand-written thank-you notes.
- Truly Listen
One of the biggest complaints from customers is that they don’t feel listened to. Be sure to take the time to let your customer speak their mind before interrupting to reply. You can encourage them to share their opinions by using surveys, putting out a suggestion box, or asking for feedback on social media.
- Use their Name
When you interact with your customer, simply using their first name in your conversations has a big impact. It helps people feel respected and builds rapport. If you remember their name the next time you see them, that creates an even more positive, lasting impression that makes them feel valued.
- Take the Extra Step
There are many ways to treat your customers well and exceed what they expect from a company. Just like the example of Samsung Canada providing a free personalized phone to a customer, you have many opportunities to show you care. Can you provide a small, free product upgrade for special customers? Can you include a unique free gift with their purchase? Simple things make a big difference and add to the overall experience.
- Connect Emotionally
A customer contacted the shoe company Zappos. She explained that her return was late because her mother died. Zappos responded by covering the covering the cost of the return shipping fees, and they sent a courier to pick up the shoes for free. But then they even went a step further to create a great customer experience. The following day, the customer came home to find a bouquet of flowers with a note expressing their condolences.
Harvard Business Review found that customers who create an emotional connection to your company are 3 times as likely to recommend your business to others, are 3 times more likely to come back and purchase from you again, and are much less price sensitive.
- Recognize them Publicly
If feasible, recognizing your customers publicly can help them feel important and appreciated. It also shows that you care about all your customers. A simple chalkboard display that lists the “Customer of the Month” is an example. Posting a positive highlight about a customer on your website or social media is another. If something good happens in your customer’s life and you hear about, taking the time to say “Congratulations” is another. Of course, you will want to get their permission first before publicly announcing them.
Make an effort to positively shape your customer’s experiences, and you will be rewarded many times over. You will have an army of ambassadors who are eager to share how wonderful your service is with their friends and family. You won’t always have to recruit new customers because the ones you do have will be happy to come back to you time and time again and do your marketing for you. Contact us today to find out how we can help you craft a great experience for your customers.