Customers as Brand Ambassadors

by | Mar 6, 2015 | Customer Service

“Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”- Howard Schultz

It is true that companies need customers as brand ambassadors but it is also true that this will not happen if all your company is trying to do is show how great it is. Your company can say whatever it wants to, as many times it likes to and through every possible channel, the fact is that customers will trust recommendations about any company when they also hear it from their friends, associates and peers. No amount of brand mass advertising will help if they remain unconvinced from what their contacts tell them.  Social media has a major role to play in turning customers into brand ambassadors and people are continually sharing their experiences on these sites. Also customers expect to receive service and responses via these sites creating a huge opportunity for companies to not just raise their standards of service but also respond to the customers in a way that makes the customer stand out and ‘look’ good.

With prompt service and effective solutions, you are telling all those who view the communication that not only are you good at what you do, your customer is so good that you never want them to leave. This in turns enhances the image of your customer too and you can be sure that you will have customers as brand ambassadors because they will be so pleased with this added service and free promotion that they would want to return the favour.  Customer satisfaction is the key to making your company successful and lack of it is enough to put your company under. While customers are there because they can perceive value in doing business with you, they may not readily talk about your company or its customer service unless you absolutely compel them by making them look good, making them feel like superstars, celebrities or whatever else makes them feel special.

It is your current customer base that will be responsible for increasing your profits and also helping to expand your customer base by spreading good words about you. Don’t forget to dig in to your former customer base too – especially the ones that had to leave for reasons other than lousy service or bad products. These customers can be excellent brand ambassadors as well since they would still probably be inclined to doing business with you and would therefore be more than happy to recommend you to their colleagues and friends. For any customer, the rule is to create customer service experiences that are memorable and delightful enough to encourage customers to be brand ambassadors.  However, it won’t hurt to let customers know how awesome you think they are and how hugely important they are to you and your business.

It is human nature to seek praise and like those who shower such praise on them. Customers too love to be recognized on public forums as it not only makes them look good, it attracts more of their customers to do business with them. So while enhancing your reputation, you are also making your customer successful by recognizing them on a platform for all to see. The truth is that if you expect your customers to do more than just pay you for what you provide, you would first need to give them reason to do so. If you consider your customers as nothing more than money making machines and what is known as ‘necessary evil’, you will not be able to genuinely say good things about them. Your words will reek of feigned niceties which will not do much for your image with the customer nor will it make your customer look good.

So how can you not only provide great customer experiences, but also make your customers look good and come across as ‘the best customer anyone can have’.

  • Start with being your customer’s ambassador or advocate. Speak to them and about them on social media sites, your company website. Share their comments, updates and posts – by doing that you are associating an increasing number of customers to your brand and also magnifying their brand’s appeal to a larger audience. This is a great way to attract more customers for your customer and your own business.
  • If your customer is holding an event, ensure that you help them by promoting the event through websites, emails and other forums, to reach a larger cross-section of people who could potentially become customers for either you or them.
  • Openly compliment, congratulate and commend your customers. There could be a number of such occasions – your customer receives a raving review in the media, conducting a large promotional event, receive an award for a special accomplishment, get mentioned in the news for a major breakthrough or great financial results – and other such events. Acknowledging them and praising them will make them look good to their customers, competition and will be a boost for your relationship with them.
  • Your customer could have products that could be useful to another of your customer or even to a friend or associate. Just as you expect them to recommend you, do this for your customer. Recommend their offerings and service to others.
  • Use your website and social media sites to thank your customers for being supportive and helping you succeed. Saying all these nice things about your customer will encourage them to continue doing so and also show them in good light before others.
  • Don’t just speak and promote their events. Attend these events (if you have been invited) and post pictures, comments and reviews of the event on platforms that are highly visible and accessible to a very large population. Both you and they will be acknowledged and appreciated. You can be sure they will return the favour by being brand ambassadors for your company.
  • Be there for your customers. If you know that they are facing a crisis or a problem that is probably overwhelming, reach out, assist them. Don’t speak about the help you provide – they will do it for you when the situation comes back to normal. And the praise they lavish on you then will be worth every investment you made in them. Customers as brand ambassadors make your company look awesome and grant it celebrity status.
  • Content is king. Speak well of the content on your customer’s website but also help them by providing them content assistance either by engaging content personnel or writing it for them. Since you know the customer well, you would be able to provide accurate information about them and also put in pertinent and well-articulated content.
  • It is vital that you let your efforts to make your customer look good be a known thing. Let them know and also make your presence felt in association with the particular customer. The more such customer ‘promotions’ you do, the greater will your reach be and more people will get to know about you and your company’s offerings.

You could do some of these things or all of these things – whatever gets your customers as brand ambassadors and helps you to make them look good.

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