As I watched loyal customers act as an unpaid sales force at a recent event, I was struck by how predictable it all was. Not predictable in the sense of being boring, but predictable in the sense that this was no accident. What I witnessed was the natural result of faithfully following a certain process. Transforming customers into loyal customers who will then become advocates and evangelists for your business is based on how well you execute 5 factors.
Exceptional Product or Service
It starts with an exceptional product or service. This isn’t about delivering “good enough,” this is about delivering “great.” Regularly ask for feedback. Constantly look for ways to improve your customer’s experience with you. Sometimes the little things make a huge difference – perhaps a note or a card in the mail, perhaps a small gift, perhaps an unexpected bonus included with their order. This is how customers are turned into loyal customers.
Make it bigger than you
Inspiring people to take spread your message becomes much, much easier when your message is bigger than you. Your message should not be simply about the product or service that you deliver. Although this is an important and essential component of it, your message should be about the difference that you are making in your tribe, in your community, or in the world. When your message is about touching and improving lives on this kind of scale, loyal customers become passionate.
Make them feel special
“Thank you” is an almost magical phrase when it is delivered with sincere meaning. Letting your loyal customers know how much you appreciate them is the key to making them feel valued and special. By letting them understand how much you value them, you ignite within them the desire to reciprocate the value that you have added to them.
Give them a reason
Giving your loyal customers a reason to become evangelists for your business is about showing them what’s in it for them. This isn’t about creating an affiliate program for your business, although you could do that. This is about helping your loyal customers understand how their action of sharing your message will impact the lives of others. Essentially this is helping your loyal customers understand how they can be a part of touching and improving lives (see step 2 above).
Make it easy for them to spread the word
Look for ways that you can make it easy for your loyal customers to spread your message. With all the social and sharing technologies in use today, this is easier than ever to implement. This can be done by making it easy for people to share your message with their network by email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Your customers have the ability to spread your message and greatly expand your reach. Tap into this latent opportunity with integrity and sincerity, and watch your business grow as your loyal customers become advocates and evangelists for your business.
How can you:
- improve your feedback collection and review systems so that you can ensure that the product or service you deliver is and stays exceptional?
- make sure your message is about how you are touching and improving lives within your tribe, community, or the world at large?
- make your customers feel valued and special?
- give your loyal customers a reason to spread your message?
- make it easy for your loyal customers to become evangelists for your business?