To any commercial, profit seeking enterprise, there is nothing more important than customers. This is because without customers, they will have no business. In the times of cut throat competition, simply providing customers with an experience that is just 'good enough' is not enough. If a company is providing a better customer experience, then it automatically eliminates many other competitors. And it takes a lot to attract and retain customers these days. A company should have happy customers. Happy customers help in taking a business to the next level. While unhappy customers can destroy the same. Typically, these happy or positive customers are the ones who are satisfied and loyal. They are frequent buyers, stick to the company and increase its revenue. With persistent efforts and the right policies, companies can convert them into brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are individuals who visibly flaunt the adoption, use, and preference for a certain brand. These customers are loyal, obviously satisfied with the concerned brand and rave about it, in public, without any monetary benefit for doing the same.

How to convert Positive Customers into Brand Ambassadors

Here are some of the most common and widely accepted methods to convert positive customers into brand ambassadors.

1. Provide Premium Product

Before customer service or loyal customer base comes in the picture, the product or services that the company offers must be worth having fans lining up. The company must build its base on genuine and authentic core values. The product or services too should reflect the same core values. This is because  the customers will recognise a particular brand through these values.  If a company's values, products and services resonate with the needs of targeted customers then it provides a genuine value proposition to them. In this way the company has a set of customers that it personally caters to. It is this set of customer that will stay loyal and can be eventually turned into brand ambassadors. To make this happen, every employee should live and breathe the company’s culture and message each and every day.

2. Identify Potential Brand Ambassadors

Among customers, there are hardcore fans who are frequent buyers and love to talk about the brand whenever they get a chance to. This is the kind of positive customers a company should target. The concerned authorities must take a careful look at its customer base and identify them. The concerned authorities can do it through any indicator of customer satisfaction selected according to the company’s needs. The company can also do the same through Net Promoter Score and target the ‘promoters’.  to reduce their customer's survey fatigue, the company can also use Customer Pulse Surveys as well. These customers are the low hanging fruits and they can be more easily converted to brand ambassadors.

3. Deliver Customer-Centric Experience

An excellent product catches people’s attention, but the thrill of a new purchase fades soon. Then modern manufacturing techniques and globalization has virtually ensured homogeneity in products available in open markets. To make themselves look different, the brands can only change its packing and advertising. But that is Business School 101 and is superficial. Customers are smart enough to catch this tactic.

Therefore, the only real differentiating factor is the overall client experience that a company creates. What stays with the buyer after purchase is the way companies make their customers feel and how many extra miles they go to serve them. Every employee in the organization must conform to one underlying objective, i.e. to serve for the best interests of the customers and to attain full customer satisfaction.

4. Leverage Social Networking

 The loyal customers and ‘promoters’ need a medium to propagate their views and thoughts. While word of mouth is reliable and trusted, it usually gets a small audience. On the other hand, social media offers a large scale platform to do just the same. While technological innovation creates winners and losers, digitization of word of mouth presents both a tremendous opportunity and a significant threat to businesses. A significant share of revenue for e-commerce businesses is directly from their customers' online promotional activities on social media. The internet has amplified the value of happy customers. On the negative side, the voice of dissatisfied customers is twice heard and trusted. Companies should learn to respond to dissatisfied customers properly.

5. Feedback

Potential brand ambassadors, loyal and satisfied customers are identified after analyzing surveys and feedbacks, but it does not mean that companies should stop it after one round. Companies should conduct feedbacks periodically to stay in tune with customer needs as well as to check the dynamics of customer satisfaction and loyalty. If there is any change in the perception of the customer towards the company, for good or bad, it can be gauged quickly. The company can make amends by responding in the right manner in both the cases. Customer feedbacks are a goldmine and have multiple uses.

6. Loyalty Programs

The goal of loyalty programs is to drive brand loyalty through recurring business transactions. By doing this often, the customer gets drawn towards the sponsor company and feels obliged to buy repeatedly. The more the customer gets in touch with the company, the closer he/she gets. Soon the customer will become loyal and may even end up becoming a brand ambassador.  The designers shouldn’t make the program too complicated, simplicity drives loyalty and adoption.

7. Referral Programs

Referral Programs give customers an incentive to advertise for a company. At the same time the customers encourage others to use the company’s products and services. If designed and implemented the right way, this program can effectively increase new customer acquisition and turn old customers into brand advocates. Eventually, the newly acquired customers can become brand ambassadors themselves.

8. Other Incentives

As a reward, the company can give complimentary gifts or charge the existing brand ambassadors at discounted rates. This is not only a great way to thank them, but also a great way to retain them. Such policies also give loyal or satisfied customers to publicize or advocate for the brand.

Posted in Analytics, Customer Feedback, Customer Satisfaction, Surveys

Tagged brand ambassadors, customer feedback online, customer feedback online survey, customer loyalty, customer pulse, customer relationship, customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, repeat customers