In today’s world you can’t just rely on paid leads to be successful, your delivery on a great customer promise has to be so good, that your customers not only come back to you, they bring others. When done well, your customers are organically growing your market share for you. Creating a customer salesforce is a matter of design not luck.
There are many steps you can take to design your business into one where customers will sell for you.
1. Know your brand stories and tell them
What are the stories that bring to life the desired brand perceptions? What are the stories that people can tell each other and what are the stories customers can tell themselves? Push these brand stories out through your digital media, printed media, social media and customer service.
2. Customer co creation
If you want customers to feel part of your brand and become advocates for it, make them creators. Use research and crowd sourcing technologies to help customers feel they created the solution. Make the social media and online community arm of your business, a creative laboratory to drive the business forward. Use indepth, one on one qualitative research to deep dive on what the customer wants. Barclay’s used crowd sourcing to reinvent a credit card while 3M’s medical-surgical business turned around their near “lights out” unit by establishing a program where their top customers co created the product. Customer co created innovations generated 8 times more revenue than 3M’s internally produced product.
3. Focus on what customers value
Businesses that don’t adequately research customers needs and wants, focus on the unimportant things, robbing themselves and their customers of a competitive point of difference. They slip back into the default value building mode: the classic quality measure of faster, more convenient, cheaper, which dumbs down the brand to a “me too” or “me too with a tweak” promise. These are hygiene factors and unless there are radical differences they do not drive choice. It is not just the functional attributes but the emotional attributes that are driving choice, customers emotionally connect to meaningful brands that take them, and the word around them, closer to their ideal
4. Be part of the customer conversation
Show up to live events and talk, network and meet people. When the customer and prospect network become part of a brand community, both online and face to face, they talk about you. Your brands needs to be part of the conversation by being an active member of their community and make them an active member of yours. We are talking greater than 10 fold uplifts in response rates, especially when you are using behavioural data, or sales people, to create ” right message, right time, right person” campaigns. Online community software programs like Episerver pack some punch when it comes to marketing to a community.
5. Create content and desired experience
No longer can you use the frequency and volume of your messaging to win over a customer. It has to be so compelling that a customer wants to pull it to them. By making great content and experiences that are rich in emotional connection to the customer, you will kick start customer attraction. Value to the customer is implicit when we talk about emotional connections, because a customer’s needs are embedded in their emotions. If you want to find what the customer most values, keep your focus on their emotional connections to your brand.
Hearts and Minds
Founder Thought Leaders Circle
Great blog Lou!