Keep Your Customers Coming Back for More with Customer Advocacy
A study by Marketing Metrics found that the probability of converting an existing customer is 60%-70%, while this number drops down to only 5%-20% for new customers. More research has shown that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. If you weren’t already concerned with the lifetime value of your customers, this is your wakeup call.
Let’s take a look at the traditional marketing funnel, where we recognize the stages a potential customer roughly follow: awareness, consideration, and decision.
When you make customer loyalty a priority, this is what your funnel may look like:
When you focus on gaining loyalty from your customers, they become advocates for your products and services, coming back for repeat purchases and referring others. By focusing on the advocacy of each customer, you can exponentially increase your return on investment, more so than focusing only on attaining new customers. Not to downplay strategies to build awareness and attract new customers, as consistently reaching new customers is also very important, but if you are choosing where to invest more time and resources for a large impact – it makes sense that building customer advocacy and increasing the lifetime value is one of the most impactful strategies in which you can invest for the largest return.
How to Establish Customer Advocacy
Tip 1: Offer a Top-Notch Customer Experience Across All Channels
Let’s face it, one unhappy customer can turn into many one-star reviews across the internet that can detract new business. Make sure to provide a high quality customer experience not only during the purchase, but also before, during and after that process online and across all channels that your customers prefer. You can do this by:
- Utilizing technologies to make your business more easily accessible where it is convenient for your customers. For example, AcuScheduler is a Salesforce app to make online scheduling easy for your customers, and managing customer calendars and scheduling communications efficient for your business.
- Consistently test customer experience across your website and online interactions to improve the quality of your site, which can in turn increase conversions. You know it is important to understand the purchasing process from a customer standpoint, but what about the rest of the process? Make sure you understand how your customers find information about you, purchase from you, and post reviews about you – removing all the roadblocks for a smooth online brand experience will help keep your customers happy and keep them referring others.
- Be where your customers are, and communicate the way they want to receive information. Research and understand which social media channels your customers use, if they like to receive emails or texts, if they’d rather be reached by phone – and optimize your communication processes accordingly.
Tip 2: Reward Your Customers
Reward loyal customers for supporting your business, and keep them coming back. Create referral programs so that when they advocate for you and bring in new business they get rewarded for doing so.
- Utilize marketing automation to ensure you are efficiently reaching your customers before, during and after their purchase. You can set up automated marketing actions for an efficient process, and importantly, to make sure they leave a review and are rewarded for doing so.
- Consistently update your referral program rewards to keep loyal customers engaged. Truly understand how they like to be rewarded and adjust accordingly.
Tip 3: Keep in Contact
Chances are you’ve sent multiple marketing messaging to gain your customers. Don’t go radio silent on them after they’ve completed a purchase.
- Keep them in the loop through email by letting them know about company news, helpful resources, and new products and services that might interest them. Remember that regular customer emails should be helpful resources, not just sales plugs!
- You can also use this as an opportunity to make your customers aware of the awesome loyalty rewards and incentives you offer.
Worried about the time involved in programs to build customer advocacy? Remember it is (5 to 25 times) more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain one. A quick cost and benefit analysis will determine how much time and resources you can and should be spending to build customer advocacy. You’ve already done the hard work of attracting customers and providing winning service, so continue to nurture those important relationships and you’ll be in great shape!