How to Turn Customers into Brand Advocates
Harnessing the Power of Happy Customers
So, your startup has been up and running for a while now, which has led to an exciting development: You have some happy customers! But what do you do with them?
Engaging with your customer base yields two significant advantages that every startup founder should leverage:
- Converts your customers into brand evangelists
- Points out ways to improve your product or solution
Get to Know Your Customers Better Through Surveys
The customer survey is one of the most effective tools for getting to know your customer base, providing invaluable insights that can improve your marketing and sales materials and help improve your products. Harness customer surveys correctly, and you can even use them as the catalyst for turning satisfied customers into brand evangelists.Start by conducting a comprehensive survey once a year that covers your entire customer base. Of course, you'll improve your response rate by incentivizing participation: $25 Amazon or Visa gift cards tend to be universally accepted and appreciated for this. For larger groups, consider offering the incentive to the first 50 respondents to create a sense of urgency, helping you get more responses faster.
Making the Survey
Coming up with the right questions for your survey is an art. Focus on understanding what customers appreciate most and least about your product, soliciting ideas for enhancements, and measuring their Net Promoter Score. Also, see how willing they are to serve as references or participate in case studies, laying the groundwork for the next steps in your customer evangelist strategy.Ultimately, the success or failure of your survey lies in its relevance. Engage representatives from Customer Success, Sales, Marketing, Product, and ownership in building your survey so you have a well-rounded set of questions that cater to various perspectives and areas of improvement.
Recommended Platform and Post-Survey Actions
Platforms like Survey Monkey provide seamless survey administration and analysis, which is why it's our top pick. Use an 80% response rate as the benchmark you strive for to ensure worthwhile and representative feedback. Once the survey is complete, follow these simple steps so the information you collected doesn't go unused:
- Compile your findings into a comprehensive presentation.
- Share the presentation with your team to identify actionable insights and areas for improvement.
Once you've got the hang of your annual survey, take your efforts further by implementing Closed Won and Closed Lost surveys for sales reps to understand the reasons behind successful and unsuccessful deals. For prospects who chose not to move forward, reach out with your Closed Lost survey to salvage potential future opportunities. And when you have a prospect become a customer, hit them up immediately with an Environmental Survey to understand how they intend to use your product and in what kind of setup.
Turn Success Stories into Case Studies and Testimonials
Once your survey system is in place, you have a mechanism to identify your satisfied customers and turn them into brand evangelists. Which, for our purposes, means getting them to contribute to the creation of case studies and testimonials. To do all this successfully, you’ll need to understand how to approach and leverage your customer base. Begin by identifying customers who are already vocal about their positive experiences with your product or solution. Super fans like these form the foundation of authentic testimonials. A great place to start is by targeting customers who have previously served as references or boast a 10 Net Promoter Score. You want to harness their enthusiasm to build a narrative that resonates with a broad audience.
Do Your Homework
Before reaching out to these potential brand advocates, do a little research on them. For example, check in with departments to see whether said customer has unresolved issues. Also, talk with team members and ask how they leverage your product in all its use cases. You'll want to use that information when pitching prospective brand advocates to demonstrate a nuanced understanding of their customer journey.
Make it Easy to Say Yes
When approaching these customers, provide a clear timeline and outline expectations. Ease any trepidations they may have by offering a list of sample questions or sharing previous case studies conducted with other companies. This approach has the bonus of streamlining the process upfront while instilling confidence in the customer about the nature and impact of their involvement.
Paint a Picture People Care About
Crafting a compelling case study story requires emphasizing the benefits of your product or service that solve the customer's pain points. Instead of fixating on features, focus on the real challenges your customers face and how your solution helps overcome them. The goal is to create a narrative that resonates with your audience on a human level.Something else that will help you build the narrative you want is to avoid only recounting positive experiences. Including the moments of struggle along with the triumph will add to the credibility of your case study's story. Authenticity will always land better with audiences.Then, paint the most vivid picture by showcasing the before-and-after scenarios your customers experienced. Provide metrics that highlight the tangible results your business helped them achieve. By grounding your case study in measurable outcomes, you show the practical impact of your product.
Put it All Together
When it comes to turning your customers into brand advocates, there’s only upside. Adopting these practices improves your sales and marketing materials with authentic stories that illustrate why your product is great while helping you understand your customer base better. All of which ultimately contribute to the growth and success of your startup.