The number one most powerful tool to turn prospects into customers is, of course, positive feedback from already satisfied customers. Whether this happens online or offline, both are equally important. There's literally no better way to boost your company's credibility!
By turning your customers into brand advocates, asking them for a testimonial, spreading reviews on the web, or nurturing offline word-of-mouth, etc. ... you can empower your customers to become your ultimate marketing go-to.
Do bear in mind that buying is an emotional decision, and people only want honest opinions. What better way than to get it from real people who already know the ins and outs of your product? Connect your prospects with your customers and offer them information to which they can relate.
We've compiled 5 ways to empower your customers to become your biggest ambassadors.
1. Boost Offline Word-Of-Mouth
Customers are never passionate about you, they're passionate about what your product offers them. That's why companies need to reach out to people that do magnificent things with their product and help show them off.
Don't use influencers (or influencer marketing) alone to put the spotlight on your product, use existing customers who are already die-hard fans of your product and shine the spotlight on them.
For example, Chevy organized an interview with a man who had little influence but a great passion for the product. Afterwards, they handed the video to him, and didn't ask for anything in return. He spontaneously posted the interview on several sites and earned 12,000 views. Within months, he was already an influencer in the automobile industry.
2. Build Die-Hard Brand Advocates
Social media has made it pretty easy to build brand advocates for any company. With people constantly sharing their experience on social media, it's up to you to chime in with help and get them excited about your brand.
Companies that reach out to customers with helpful information score high social points and successfully nurture brand advocacy. Real-time help can turn a negative situation into a winning customer experience and help develop a strong connection with customers. It's the next step in making your customers become active advocates.
For example, Zappos is a company that heavily focuses on responding to customer issues in real-time. Its warm and genuine tone-of-voice makes them receive an incredibly high amount of positive feedback.
3. Encourage Customers to Give Testimonials
No one enjoys reading web pages that are boring and full of dry statistics. Try using testimonials to revive them! They are a great sales technique if you don't push it too much. Inevitably, your website contains some sales material without going overboard.
The right testimonial gains trust of customers and creates credibility with prospects. Clearly show your website visitors that other people dealt with the same issues and were able to overcome them by using your product. This way you can show your visitors that your ultimate goal is to help them.
To give you an idea of what testimonials should look like, take a look at the example below. This clearly shows that testimonials should come from people working from within a company, not from companies themselves. They should be short, easy-to-consume, and genuine. However, never just include quotes like, "I like your product and the price is great." Let your customers be specific about your product's key features.
4. Dedicate a Page on Your Websites to Use Cases
In order for your testimonial to really gain attention, you should showcase those particular cases on a dedicated page on your website. You can really make that content come to life if you add quotes, important feedback, or even include a short video. Think of your website as your business card: instead of having to hand them out all the time, let the customers come to you.
A dedicated use cases page puts your customer on the spot to tell a story from their own perspective from customer acquisition, to purchase, and on to engagement. Just like you do offline, you'll want to represent your business online in the best possible light. Let your customers do that for you.
A dedicated use cases page is a way of extending the brand you've worked so hard to create. Your website use cases page is an extension of that branding project in order to make it a seamless whole and not just an add-on feature.
5. Ask for a Much-Wanted Review
Focus not only on your own website but widen your scope and concentrate on external online resources. Reading a positive review from an existing customer can only bolster confidence for a right purchase.
There's no amount of advertising, tweeting, or direct mailing that has quite the same impact on customers the way an objective peer review does. What you say about your brand doesn't matter. It's what others say that counts!
It's important to remember that soliciting reviews from customers should be handled with delicacy. The biggest challenge is actually getting them, and not dealing with negative ones. It's definitely not abnormal to think it will turn off customers. So, make sure you make the reviewing process as easy as possible, or offer a small yet appropriate incentive (like a 10% discount or similar offer).
In summary, think about how you further want to leverage your customer relationships. Nothing sells your business more than great marketing for your customers themselves. Any kind of review from a brand advocate influences approximately 90% of a prospect's buying decision. So, make sure it's a positive one!