The best salespeople are customers. The best feedback is from someone who has used your product. And the most effective endorsements come from ordinary clients –people who have used your products or have experienced one or more of your services. But here’s the thing, not every customer who likes your product would automatically promote it to other people. Some show their loyalty simply by continuing to buy from you, which is great, but unless you take steps to convert them, they won’t become brand ambassadors. So let’s take a look at ways to turn your best clients into your best salesmen.
Give Them Lots Of Reasons To Be Proud Clients
People are smart. If you expect them to be continue using your products and services, they need good reasons for doing so. Their reasons should be much more than expectations of material rewards that promotions offer; they should genuinely feel that the products or services that you offer are better than the rest. That is not so easy to do.
First of all, your products or services need to really be outstanding; if not the best in the business, then perhaps among the best.
You should be able to make your clients see the benefit they derive from your offerings. Find ways to trumpet your product’s strengths at every opportunity. Get testimonials from satisfied clients and post them on your website or in advertising posters.
Actively Engage Your Clients
Consider contacting your clients to thank them for using your product after every sale, or service. Use the opportunity to ask them for feedback. If your product or service is really good, you can expect glowing reviews which you can use to trumpet their benefits. Be sure to acknowledge positive reviews and thank the authors, through email or through the same form of social media they posted their comments on.
If you receive a less than stellar review, make sure to thank the client too. Your response needs to be humble and be apologetic while assuring them that you would look into whatever caused them to be dissatisfied. Act promptly to investigate the validity of your client’s concerns and to determine what corrective actions, if any, you need to take; for all you know they may be pointing to a real but still unnoticed glitch. When you initiate corrective action, never fail to inform the client; it would make them realize that their views are important to you.
Provide Strong After Sales Service
Make sure every repair or warranty work is as prompt and painless for the client as possible. It is important that you stand solidly behind your product or service. It is much better to give more service than your warranty calls for, whenever possible. Your brand is far more valuable than the cost of any rework, repair, or replacement your clients may ask for – especially if their claims hold water.
When you make repair completion commitments, make sure you can deliver on or before the date you have set. While it is tempting to give in to a client’s demands for speedy service, you must not promise something you don’t have a reasonable chance of delivering.
It is very important that the terms of service are as transparent as possible. This means that the basic charge, any possible additional charges, and the duration of the repairs should be clear to the client from the start.
Be Very Helpful
Your website needs to have very useful content. Useful content here should be taken to mean any resource which would help your clients to choose the most appropriate product, how to use them properly, or calculate how much they need.
If you are in the business of manufacturing paint, for example, you can post articles about just about every kind of paint and where each should be used; feel free to add why your product is better than the rest while you are at it. You can post knowledge resources containing surface preparation and application techniques. Other resources can include methods of calculating how much of each type of product they would need for particular applications.
Provide an email address where your clients can ask questions related to the various types of products or services that you offer. You can also provide instant help through online chat. Other effective methods delivering assistance to prospective and current clients include creating a blog or a forum. Discussion groups give your clients the chance to sing your praises or to provide helpful critique; properly handled, criticisms are opportunities to intensify the loyalty of your clientele.
Never underestimate the power that positive attention brings. All people crave different levels and types of attention. If you have loyal customers, find ways to show your appreciation. It might be as simple as an email thanking them for their patronage and asking how you can serve them better. Other ways involve giving some form of reward like discounts, free product samples, etc.
But sometimes the most effective forms of rewarding, and encouraging loyalty does not involve great expense. I noticed a pet grooming salon that never seems to run out of clients. The salon does not give more discounts or offer lower prices than their competitors. Though their service is good, there are other salons offering the same excellence without enjoying the same level of success in terms of number of customers. What is their secret? They post pictures of pets and owners of the week, in front of their establishment; a different one each week. Featured clients told friends, who told friends. . .
Listen To Your Clients
All comments from your clients are valuable. You may not realize it now, but most client comments are reflections of how they really feel about your product; that is information some companies commission surveys to find. It does not matter if they contain praise, criticism or both; you can use them to increase your clientele’s brand loyalty. The most important thing is to remember to ensure that your clients know you value their inputs.
Whenever you receive praise, get the information to product development; first they deserve kudos and, more importantly, they need to focus on the aspect or feature of your products that your customers like. Don’t forget to thank your clients for their kind comments.
If you happen to receive a comment saying that they would like it better if your product or service had this feature or option, you should definitely take notice. When you come across such kinds of suggestions, give it real consideration and implement those that make sound sense. Some of the things on your clients’ wish lists may be impractical or downright impossible, but you should respond in a grateful and humble manner to each of them. When some are eventually adopted, make sure to send a message thanking and giving credit to the client who made the suggestion.
Engage Your Clients Using Social Media
People are more likely to be wary of paid advertisements because they are right not to expect these to be objective. Testimonials from satisfied clients are deemed to be more credible, although such testimonials also meet with some level of suspicion when posted on a company’s own website. Thus kudos posted on social media sites is the most highly valued form of endorsement. You would be fish for recommendations from your clients using as many forms of social media as possible for the following reasons:
- Client comments would be more believable, because they would be shared with their own circle of friends. People are more likely to trust recommendations from those they know.
- When clients comment through social media platforms, it is shared with their circle of friends. All of these friends have their own circle of friends, so the message gets across to lots of people in a very short time.
- Most people have their smart devices with them almost 24 hours a day. That means that whatever message you share reaches your audience more promptly than other forms of transmission.
- Establishing and maintaining a social media presence is not as expensive as traditional modes of advertising such as TV spots, giant billboards, or brochures.
Find And Encourage Your Most Influential Advocates
Customers who have large social media following will make better endorsers. So are clients who are considered experts in the field where your products are more likely to be used. Find such people and get them to try out new products or even products under development for you. In most cases they will be tickled pink at the attention and not only provide valuable inputs, but also trumpet the advantages of your products.
Satisfied clients have the potential to be your loudest, most credible, and most effective endorsers, but only if you encourage them to be so. If you do this correctly, they will gladly sing your praises at a tiny fraction of the cost of traditional modes of advertising. Remember, the best advertising is word of mouth. So go get your customers talking.