Approyo CEO recently shared his perspective in a blog post for the Small Business Experts Forum.
After talking to a customer who’s been a long-time friend and advocate for our company, I realized he’s gone from just a customer to a valuable brand ambassador for our company.
We don’t pay him to spread a positive message about our brand – he just does. Whether it’s trade shows or a networking event, he speaks glowingly about our company. And as an opinion leader and influencer, his words carry a lot of weight.
And he isn’t the only customer who talks about our company this way. By showing each of our customers special attention we’ve managed to create many unofficial brand ambassadors that have helped boost sales and create increased awareness of our company.
Here are a handful of ways to show your customers some extra love and turn customers, fans, and clients into brand ambassadors:
Communication is Key I try to talk to our customers every week. I want to know and understand their business and their challenges. These discussions focus on what their business is going through and what’s happening in their respective industries.
Be Helpful These frequent conversations are about how I can help their business. These are not sales calls. Digging deep and truly trying to help by connecting them with other resources, referring another business, or listening to their feedback on how we can improve our product or services goes a long way toward strengthening relationships.
The Personal Touch As much as I love technology, I still send handwritten notes to my customers. I even send notes to multiple people within the company – the CEO, CIO or CFO. Acknowledging anniversaries, birthdays, their kid’s graduation, and other special occasions is a nice personal touch. It’s very important to remember the little things going on in their business and personal life. Connecting on a human level establishes a very powerful bond.
Build Trust One thing I learned early on as an entrepreneur is that conflict in relationships is not necessarily a bad thing. How you handle, and ultimately resolve, challenging situations can actually build trust between you and your customers. Sometimes having these difficult discussions isn’t pleasant. But if you take responsibility, compromise, and work towards a solution, you will earn their respect and trust.
Work for Their Success You’ll never get a brand ambassador without the customer feeling a certain level of their success can be attributed directly to working with your business. Your product or service needs to be a critical piece of helping the customer succeed. So, doing everything you can to make them successful, ultimately results in your success.
Have Patience Getting a customer to be a brand ambassador is not going to happen overnight. It may take months or even years through day-to-day interactions. It takes a lot of effort to establish a working relationship that is built on trust, results in success and demonstrates that you business puts customers’needs first and foremost. But in the end, it’s worth all the time and effort.
This post originally appeared in the Small Business Expert Forum: http://www.smallbusinessexpertforum.com/marketing-advertising/turn-best-customers-brand-ambassadors/
About the Small Business Expert Forum
The Small Business Expert Forum is the largest, most comprehensive and most credible grouping of entrepreneurship and small business experts and small business influencers from all over the world, across all major industries. Their audiences cover solopreneurs, small businesses and mid-sized businesses.
Founded by internationally noted small business expert, Carol Roth, in conjunction with small business and online marketing expert, Angel Djambazov, the Small Business Expert Forum was created to bridge the gap between small business experts and influencers and those businesses and brands looking to engage with, hire and learn from such experts.