5 Tips for Creating Advocate Customers

5 Tips for Creating Advocate Customers

If you’re in business, you love having repeat customers. These are the people who have had a positive experience with your company and you provide products and or services that they need. As a business, having repeat customers gives you some security knowing that they’ll be patronizing you more.

But what about advocate customers? They are more than just repeat customers as they will become unofficial ambassadors for your brand. They’re the ones who will go out of their way to spread the word about your business and products and services to anyone who will listen. They’ll post on Facebook, Twitter, and pin your stuff on Pinterest. They’ll strike up conversations with people in line at the grocery store. They will talk to their friends and family about you. Nothing beats the power of a recommendation or a referral. These customers are gold for any organization.

How do you create these advocates? Here are five suggestions:

It Starts With Awesome Customer Service

Customers have expectations as to what their experience is going to be with your organization. If you meet their expectations, more than likely they’ll turn into repeat customers. If you exceed their expectations, again, and again, they’ll likely become advocates for your company. If they have problems, don’t make them jump through hoops to make a return or an exchange. Don’t make them sit on hold for extended periods of time. If they have a special request or a suggestion, try to accommodate it. Imagine what your customers expect for customer service and exceed those expectations.

Simply put, people like to be wowed. Michael Hyatt has a great post about the How of Wow which is worthy of a read as it illustrates this idea.

What’s your customer service experience like?

Provide Value

People like value. They want to believe that they’re getting more than what they’re actually paying for. Part of the customer service experience is included with this perception. If people can find your products or services (or comparable items) for sale elsewhere, there had better be a reason people are paying more for what you offer.

Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich offers a wide variety of informational products. Ramit gives away a lot of free information on his blog and then charges a premium for access to his courses. He prides himself on giving away higher quality information that is better than what others charge for in their courses. He goes out of his way to test the information he provides and then backs it up with a 60 day money back guarantee. Since most of his courses are eight weeks in duration, his students can take the full course – consume the materials provided – and ask for a refund, no questions asked.  In reality, there’s a small percentage who actually take him up on the offer because he provides such awesome value.

Many of his students have provided case studies and are repeat customers for his other products. Why? He provides awesome value, delivering over and above what people expect. The free stuff is great, but the paid stuff is stellar.

What’s your value proposition?

The Experience Matters

People love having a memorable experience with a product, service, or company. As I mentioned above, they like to be wowed. Look at Apple and its products. They have created an amazing following through not only providing awesome customer service and value for what they sell, but also the experience of using their products.

Check out this new Apple ad:

From their advertising, to their online store, to their Apple Stores, to even their retail partners, Apple fosters an amazing experience for their customers.

What kind of experience do you offer your customers?

Encourage through Incentives

Give people a reason to become an advocate for your product or service. No doubt in your web travels, you’ve stumbled across someone who has affiliate links to a particular product or service. People like me, who truly believe in a product, will talk about it forever without any added incentive.

You know that I’m a big fan of Evernote. I have no problem talking about it and they don’t even have an affiliate program. But if I use a product extensively and they have an affiliate program, why wouldn’t I want to capitalize on that opportunity? Take for example Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials. It’s an awesome book for getting up to speed on using Evernote. If Brett didn’t offer an affiliate program, I’d still tout his book. It’s wonderful. It really is. But his affiliate program gives me even more incentive to talk about his product.

So if you want to encourage people to talk about your company, it’s perfectly acceptable to dangle some sort of carrot to get them to do so. People like getting rewards. While not always necessary, providing some sort of incentive (a coupon, a discount, a commission, etc.) for bringing you new business helps turn regular customers into advocate customers.

Do you incentivize your customers?

Out of The Blue Surprises

People like being recognized. They like surprises. Sending people something out of the blue as a “thank you” or as a “just because” are impressive gestures as they help build that advocacy. For example, I mentioned on social media how much I liked a particular email marketing company (My Emma). A couple of weeks later, I received a medal in the mail with a note saying “thanks” for spreading the word. The medal was an “Award for Awesomeness”. The company had to do some research to find my address, but they went above and beyond by sending me the note let alone the medal. I never expected anything as a result of my recommendation. But it solidified my belief in their service. They’re awesome.

So you too could send a handwritten thank you note or some other surprise to your best customers. A special offer just for them; an invitation to a private event; a trinket; a free (insert item here). You get the idea. It’ll blow their mind whatever you decide to do.

Have you ever surprised your best customers with a little unexpected something?

Conclusion

Having advocate customers who are passionate about what you do is important to any business. Using the five tips I mentioned above, you’re on your way to creating your own core group of advocate customers who will tout your business to anyone who will listen.

Disclosure of Material Connection

Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a modest commission from the sale. These links help support the maintenance of this website.


Please be advised that I only recommend products or services that I have used or tried personally and believe will add value to my readers' lives. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”