Businesses are investing more in technology to improve the customer experience. They’re using data analytics to retain satisfied customers and to develop products and services to keep them coming back for more. They’re communicating more effectively with customers across a wider range of digital channels.
At the same time, customers are demanding higher quality products and a more tailored experience. These days, that alone is not enough. Millennials, in particular, expect brands to be socially responsible and to do business with a focus on sustainability. Yet, fewer than one in five younger consumers demonstrate strong brand loyalty, compared with 40% of over 60s.
Against this backdrop, we need to take a fresh look at winning new business. This is where personal recommendations come in. For the average consumer, recommendations from friends and family carry much more weight than something a salesperson tells them.
So, how do you get customers to recommend your products and services to other people?
1. Give customers the opportunity to shine and it will reflect well on you.
They get to share their successes with peers and promote themselves as technology innovators.
They can take part in case studies, act as reference sites and speak at events to showcase their success with IoT. When they look good, we look good.
2. Be brave and take a stand.
Consumers want to know where you stand on key issues such as diversity and equality. You can’t sit on the fence anymore. Issues that may have seemed tricky or too political for brands to get involved with a few years ago now demand a response. People will get behind brands that share their values.
3. Help customers demonstrate their ethical and environmental credentials.
We help our customers measure the positive impact of going digital and moving to the cloud on their carbon footprint.
4. Incentivise brand loyalty.
Consumers may be very happy with your products and services. To translate good vibes into action, create your own “nudge unit”. Identify customers who are happy with their experience and target them with tailored nudges to leave a review or recommendation.
An incentive can do wonders to cut through the noise of suppliers asking for reviews and recommendations; this could involve offering cashback or future discounts for customers who recommend you to others.
Employees should be your best brand ambassadors. If employees are not actively recommending your products and services to friends and family, it’ll be an uphill task converting customers into brand ambassadors.
Getting employees onside as proactive brand ambassadors is a useful testbed for what may or may not work with customers. For example, sentiment analysis of social media communications can help identify employees who might respond to reward and recognition initiatives to promote the brand more effectively. If that works, then you can try the same approach with customers.
When happy customers become brand ambassadors, their lifetime value grows massively. The return on investment in their customer experience is quantifiable and will translate into an ongoing relationship and future revenue growth.