Hi there! This is the 5th and last post on our series on the Customer Journey! Our goal is to help you understand how to optimize your customer’s experience from start to finish and help you develop loyal customer relationships. Need to catch up? Start here with, How to Get Customers for Life!
The 5th and final step of the Customer Journey.
Has there ever been a product you loved so much you were totally obnoxious about it? As in so obnoxious your friends and family begged you to stop talking about it? I’ve had a couple of those, but one is particularly memorable.
Here’s how it went:
I was a new parent with a typical bad sleeper. I read all the books, tried all the techniques, and I still had a terrible sleeper.
In the process of searching for the magic sleep bullet, I purchased a Dohm white noise machine. And while it didn’t make my child sleep, it did help me get extra sleep those nights my husband took night duty. Those extra hours of sleep were pure gold. That white noise machine never left my bedside.
Two years later, onto my second child, the Dohm machine started to rattle like a robot with a bad cold. It wasn’t a cheapo white noise machine, so on a whim, I emailed their customer service and told them my white noise machine sounded like a robot with a bad cold. And you know what, a REAL PERSON emailed back with a great sense of humor (robots and colds and all that) and said they’d fix it FOR FREE.
I kissed my Dohm machine, packed it into a box, and told it to get better soon. And it did. Within two weeks.
A month or two later, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw someone ask for suggestions for white noise machines. You had better believe I rustled myself out of the social media stupor and messaged her directly about my experience with Dohm.
That is the picture-perfect idea of Advocacy.
It’s a long term relationship.
A lot of businesses treat their buyers like one night stands and wonder when they don’t get repeat customers. However, if you think of your customers and clients as your potential life-long BFFs, you’ll have a powerful team of people recommending your products and services on your behalf, long after their own purchase. Any business owner can attest to the thrill of getting random customers coming through saying “So and so said you were the best person for the job.”
So how do you turn customers into advocates? We’ve found 7 ways to create long term relationships with your customers.
1.Overdeliver even after the purchase.
All products have a lifetime. Consider what happens when your product reaches the end of its — will you repair it? Replace it? Offer a discount on a new one? If your product is particularly beloved and integral to their daily life (like my white noise machine), you have an amazing opportunity to secure a spot in your customers’ hearts forever by making sure they don’t live very long without your product.
2. Keep in touch on their terms.
Make yourself available in as many ways as you can. With so many digital outlets to be visible, you can offer as much interaction as the customer wants. Some customers are going to want to be insiders and they’ll sign up for direct emails and Facebook groups. Some will be passive followers on social media, and some will comment and show up as the spirit moves them.
But here’s the point: you’re showing up for them in as many ways as you can. Not only does that keep them continually up to date with what you’re doing, but it offers multiple potential touchpoints and communication points. But again, make sure you can overdeliver here as well — if someone messages you, hop on and respond back as soon as you can.
3. Make it EASY for them to rate or comment on your services.
We’re a bit of a broken record over here about reviews, but with 82% of consumers reading online reviews before purchasing, it’s a pretty important thing. So we suggest actually creating a process to capture reviews. Simply sending out an email asking for a review is an excellent start. Or you can always up the ante by finding ways to incentivize reviews.
Take Airbnb for example. They live and die by reviews. So this summer after I stayed at a place in Wyoming, the very next day they sent me an email asking me to write a review. The lady from whom we rented also got an email asking her to write a review of me and my family. She managed to write her review first, but Airbnb wouldn’t allow me to see it until I wrote my review of her.
Do I normally write reviews? In almost every situation, no.
But did I write one for my Airbnb experience? Heck yes. I wanted to see what that other lady had to say about me and my family 😂.
While you may not be able to give your customers the scoop on themselves like Airbnb, at the very least, an automated email kindly asking for a review will increase your chances of people advocating for you online.
4. Study the ways of social media engagement.
I’d like to mention here that I get emails about twice weekly from my favorite Instagram posting tool, Later, about all the new! and exciting! things Instagram has implemented.
It’s a rat race out there, but there are some easy ways you can at least start to build long term relationships with your online customers.
- Tagging people. Only do this if you have a legitimate connection with the person, but you can tag people in your photos, and then your photo or message will show up in their feed making yourself available to their followers as well.
- Comment and like. Social media is technically a social space, so make sure you show up for your devoted followers. Be a real person to them too and they’ll love you even more.
- Giveaways. Such a great way to grow your followers with the power of your customers. Ask your followers to tag other people in the comments to get entered into a giveaway. If it’s a particularly awesome giveaway, I guarantee you’ll have a ton of new followers and potential customers in your online community.
5. Incentivize referrals.
Sometimes it’s ok to give your followers an extra reason to tell other people about you. Whether it’s discounts or free stuff, consider rewarding your customers for bringing in new customers. Of course, you’ll have to think this process through so it’s beneficial to everyone, but if your customers are already inclined to tell others about you, this will simply speed up the process.
6. Listen and adapt.
When you’re thinking of your customers as a long term relationship, it’s SO IMPORTANT for you to listen to what they’re saying.
- Are they raving about a particular service you offer? Make sure to use that in your advertising to attract other customers. And, by golly, make sure that service continues to be awesome for as long as possible.
- Are they complaining about something on your product? Reach out, ask questions, and then FIX IT.
- Do they wish something could be better? Again, ask and improve.
People know when they’re being heard and when they’re getting blown off. If you listen and adapt, they’ll definitely take notice.
7. Set up systems to help you out.
Cultivating long-term relationships with potentially hundreds or even thousands of people can be a logistical impossibility. But here’s a miracle of the modern age: automation.
Here at Control Yours, we’ve seen the benefits of automation firsthand and have become experts, especially at email automation and capturing reviews. Here’s how we can help:
- Email automation. From welcome and thank you emails to content campaigns, we can set up whole systems where you can set it and walk away, knowing that some of your most repetitive emails are getting taken care of.
- Easy reviews. Our developers can create simple, easy to use pages that integrate with Google and Facebook reviews so you can ask for reviews using your own branding and customize the whole process.
With great power comes great responsibility.
As this is the last post in our Customer Journey series, I’m going to take this moment to philosophize, so bear with me.
If you’re a business owner, you may sell a product or service, but your endgame is always people. Big or small, you’re impacting people’s lives. Your product or service will either become a fixture in their daily lives or live on as a memory. Either way, you have the power to shape that.
Some businesses use that power wisely. They build intentional touchpoints, create thoughtful advertising, and cultivate customer relationships well.
And some miss the boat entirely.
But since you’re reading this, I’m 100% certain you’re in the first group. Which means that you’re already well on the way to a healthy business with a thriving group of customers and clients to bolster you to long term growth.
And THAT is why the Customer Journey is so important.
We’re here to help.
Not only are we great strategizers, but we’re also pretty good with the technical stuff too. We can help you:
- Sketch out your own Customer Journey.
- Brainstorm ways to optimize the different steps of the journey.
- Create advertising and content campaigns to attract new customers.
- Craft stellar product and landing pages.
- Automate your emails.
- Capture reviews.