Average companies think “customer service” ends with CSRs and feedback forms. While these may help maintain minimal levels of customer satisfaction, they’re not going to earn a company any diehard fans.
1. Create things customers will love more than your mom would
How can marketers know if their content is going to be a homerun with customers and prospects before they hit publish? Jay Baer, public speaker and author of Youtility, uses a guiding principle called The Mom Test: before a piece of content is released, the marketer must ask themselves if their mom would be proud of the piece. The thinking behind this test is if your own mother wouldn’t love it, it’s definitely not worth publishing.
Smart marketers substitute their moms for their most trusted customers. These evangelists are happy to review your content and provide feedback, ideas, quotes and suggestions. Asking customer advocates what they want to see, and having them review and contribute to your content before it’s published has two benefits:
It ensures that you consistently release compelling content that serves a purpose for your target audience. Your customers’ insights can also add a level of authority and authenticity to your content.
It builds a deeper relationship with your customers because they see that their opinion really matters. They’ll also feel special if you put them in the spotlight.
While this strategy may get some results, most companies see the bulk of their revenue coming from existing or repeat customers. Businesses should stop “courting strangers,” as Joseph says, and focus on strengthening relationships with existing ones.
To do this, Joseph recommends starting “members-only” customer engagement programs that reward your top fans and gives them access to valuable resources. Not only will this make them more loyal (and therefore more likely to buy again) but will also inspire them to recommend you to potential buyers or act as a reference. Court your customers first, and they’ll be happy to help you grow your business.
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3. Create delight at every stage in the customer life-cycle
In order to create true advocates, you must wow customers at every opportunity—before and after a sale.
Bill Macaitis, CMO at Slack Technologies, says, “Companies that focus on every customer life-cycle stage, and the metrics that drive customer behavior, get rewarded with long-term growth, low customer acquisition costs, high word of mouth and tremendous evangelism.”
Shift your metrics to prioritize customer experience and satisfaction. Pay less attention to things like leads and opportunities, and focus on stats like CSAT, daily active usage and Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is one of Bill’s favorites. He says, “It’s a really simple metric that best sums up your company’s health. It’s an indicator of your long-term growth.”
Then, use these metrics to measure your team’s success. This ensures your entire company is thinking about each touchpoint in the customer life-cycle, and how they can use that experience to turn customers into lifelong brand advocates.
4. Get your employees to “give a damn”
Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone and founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, is extremely well-versed in connecting with people. His deep knowledge of what makes professional (and personal) relationships between two individuals last can be useful for brands.
One of his greatest approaches to building strong relationships can be summed up in three simple words: “Give a damn.” This simple concept can dazzle customers accustomed to lukewarm business relationships.
First, give customers opportunities to talk with real people at your company. Schedule times for regular catch-ups, and make sure employees are always asking customers “How can I help?”
Then, establish team and organizational policies that emphasize customer satisfaction and empower employees to take charge. Give them the right tools and the authority to tackle customer problems without waiting on a manager’s permission. This will build a culture of trust that will reflect outwardly with each customer interaction—and improve the customer experience overall.
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