Imagine a perfect world where your brand doesn’t need to do any marketing at all. No ad spends, no social media campaigns, and no marketing content—but the customers keep coming and the revenue numbers keep going up!
This dream can be closer to reality than you think—if you can get your customers to become brand advocates for you.
Who is a Brand Advocate?
Your brand’s advocates or promoters are happy customers who actively recommend the usage of your brand’s products and offerings to other prospective clients.
Brand advocates might not be active sources of leads for your business, but they offer something that some believe is much more important: a healthy brand reputation via word-of-mouth endorsements.
Considering how word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the most trustworthy sources of business information according to customers, brand advocates can really change the game in your favor.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to using brand advocacy to impact the growth of your business empire.
Step 1: Run an NPS Survey
The first step to leveraging the power of advocacy for your brand is identifying your brand’s promoters—and that’s exactly what Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys help you do. An NPS survey employs one key question—“How likely is it that you would recommend our brand to a friend or colleague?”—to determine the brand loyalty of a customer. Customers are then expected to pick an answer to this question on a scale of 0 to 10.
Based on their answers, the respondents are segmented into three groups:
- Detractors (respondents who picked an answer between 0-6)
- Passives (respondents who picked an answer between 7-8)
- Promoters (respondents who picked an answer between 9-10)
You can learn more about calculating your final Net Promoter Score here. Once you run your NPS survey and find out who your brand advocates are (and who aren’t), you can work on ways to 1) Use their help to aid your development, and 2) Earn more promoters for your brand.
Step 2: Reward Your Brand Advocates
While your brand advocates will innately promote your products and services without expecting anything in return, it’s still your responsibility to make sure your promoters stay happy—and one way to do it is by saying thank you to those who advocate for your brand. Providing them exclusive offers, sending them a personalized gift, or even just responding to a customer review that says “thank you!” can really go a long way and keep your brand top-of-mind.
Keeping your brand advocates happy should be one of your top priorities if you want to retain them as loyal, recurring customers. Rewarding your promoters might also help spur conversations about your brand among their friends and family—hearing what you did will reinforce a positive opinion about your brand in their hearts.
Step 3: Improve Your Brand Advocacy
So, you ran your NPS survey and discovered that you have quite a few customers who fall under the Detractors and the Passives categories. That’s alright—don’t lose hope, this is your time to listen to your customer’s needs. Focus your efforts on slowly getting detractors to become passives while working on turning passives into promoters. Here are some of the things that you can do to make this happen:
- Listen to your customers:
When a customer criticizes your brand on surveys or reviews, make sure you listen to them and make an effort towards fixing the problem that they’re facing with your brand. Customers today remember sentiment more than transactions and listening to constructive feedback is always a great place to start.
- Provide exceptional customer service:
This might be easier said than done, but if there’s one thing that will always elicit a positive response in customers, it’s good client service. Fulfilling your customers’ needs and letting them know that you will go above and beyond to deliver a great customer experience is one of the major things that you can do to get more advocates for your brand. Be sure that your employees are properly trained and provide positive experiences to customers when they are in-store, shopping online, or even speaking to someone in support. Brand consistency is always key to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
- Build a referral program:
A great way to incentivize your customers to become promoters is by rewarding them for referrals. You can use a product like ReferralRock to build a referral program for your business.
- Ensure that your products offer great value for money:
If your products are too pricey, it might ward away potential customers. If they are too cheap, then your brand might just come off as, well, cheap. Offering products and services that come off as great value-for-money purchases will definitely get your customers to recommend your brand to their peers.
Step 4: Measure Your Success
If this is the first time you’re running an NPS score, you might be shocked with the amount of variation in the responses. That’s okay. Take your time to strategically implement a plan of attack by taking care of the items with the fastest timelines first. When you have completed your list, actively monitor your reviews over the next couple of quarters. When you are ready, run another NPS survey and benchmark on the progress you have made! If you’ve been actively working on making life better for your customers and everything has gone well, you should ideally see more customers turning into promoters for your brands. Don’t worry if you still have several customers staying in the Detractors category, building the trust and loyalty of your customers is a slow process, and besides, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait!
You can read more NPS best practices here.
Build That Perfect World!
Keep at it, and your brand should slowly grow into a business that’s reputed and well-received by the community! Who knows, maybe one day, several years from now, you’ll really be able to pause all your marketing activities and still be able to see your stores brimming with happy customers 🙂