90% of customers trust recommendations!
It’s true. And compare that to spending money on advertising your business which only has a trust level of about 14%.
According to numerous surveys, people are more likely to trust a brand or a business that someone has recommended. Why, because it’s credible, based on a real experience and at the end of the day, who doesn’t want a good trusted business in their home, business or life.
The Opportunity For Your Business – Creating Loyal Advocates
Whether you are a local plumber, accountant or real- estate agent, having a strategy to turning loyal customers into amazing raving fans could be one of the best and most cost-effective means of gaining new customers and business.
You need to strive to create advocates. They are more than just brand influencers, rather, they are loyal followers of your brand and business that want to tell others about you. Advocates can defend your business and inform others of how you are the best business choice.
In the online world, it can be easy enough to get caught up with attracting “lots” of followers. Don’t make that mistake: it is not about the number of followers you have but more on the quality of business advocates and raving customers.
Here are 3 ways to work on this:
1. Give existing customers an exceptional service experience
While it seems a given for businesses to have excellent products and services, some business owners forget there will most likely be a competitor offering the same thing.
Imagine how much competition a local plumber or real estate agent has?
Being exceptional means setting yourself apart from the local competition so that you are remembered. Think about what you can do for your customers that is better and faster than the competition. And it could be small things- returning calls promptly, cleaning up after yourself (as a tradie), sending a small thank you gift, offering value-added services and advice or meeting customers on the weekend.
And always ask for feedback and testimonials, especially if they are happy to share in an online visible platform like Facebook.
Standing out as being “exceptional” is the start of turning prospects into loyal followers.
2. Create quality online content
Any successful marketer will tell you that it all comes down to quality content in the online world.
It will be easy for your customers to encourage more followings and loyalty if your content is interesting, relevant and helpful. Instead of constantly overselling your services online, think about sharing recent customer experiences or giving online tips on how to solve certain problems.
Do not forget to add social sharing icons to your content feed. Make your content accessible and social-media friendly. Find out what topics your audience has a strong opinion about.
Encourage discussion and ask your loyal customers to share it to their networks.
3. Get personal and share real experiences
They say seeing is believing, and this is more relevant than ever before especially with the growing use of the internet and social media platforms.
For example, as a local tradie, it could be sharing before and after photos of your work on Facebook. As a real estate agent, it may be sharing experiences of happy customers and the exceptional price results you helped them achieve via a targeted newsletter.
These platforms and tools can be extremely powerful in getting prospects to know you and what you can offer. And more importantly, it helps build your reputation as a trusted business choice.