customer brand advocates

When it comes to saying something positive about your business, there will be two types of customers; those who are happy to say something positive and those who will go out of their way to say something positive.  The latter are your brand advocates or brand ambassadors.

A brand advocate is defined as “a person, or customer who talks favourably about a brand or product, and then passes on positive word-of-mouth (WOM) messages about the brand to other people.” You can think of brand advocates as your company’s personal sales reps.

Brand advocates spend more

Brand advocates usually spend twice as much on their favourite brands as regular customers and can be worth up to 10x the value of their first purchase. It has been suggested that brand advocacy drives $6 trillion worth of annual consumer spending globally1.

Brand advocates enable others

Brand advocates are essential for sharing positive word-of-mouth messages about your brand. They do this in a few various places including; social media, email, eCommerce sites, online chats, forums and of course face-to-face.

Their value lies in their likelihood to share information (83%) and the likelihood of influencing a purchase decision more so than a regular customer (50%)2.

90% of consumers have reported that a word-of-mouth recommendation is a leading influence on their purchase decision and it is thought to be behind 20-50% of all purchase decisions. That’s twice the amount of sales than is generated by digital advertising!

However, there is still a real disconnect between brands and potential advocates. The challenge for small businesses is to successfully connect with their satisfied customers and turn them into active brand ambassadors.

Tips to create brand advocates

Here are a few suggestions of how you can begin to bridge the gap between your business and your customers and create genuine brand advocates:

  • Have excellent one to one interactions: Make sure your sales team or any external communicators are speaking positively and professionally.
  • Engage customers via different channels: Find your customers where they are. Engage with them via social media, through your website or over the phone. At Live eftpos, our Relationship Managers communicate with  our customer base via a number of different channels and are even happy to meet you for a coffee face-to-face.
  • Maintain consistency across channels: If you’re saying one thing over the phone, make sure you’re saying it on social media and in your emails as well.
  • Make it easy to do business with you: Is it difficult to purchase or order your product? The easier you make it for customers to find and buy what they want, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you again or recommend your business.
  • Collect customer feedback: Stay on top of any necessary changes you need to make to respond to your customer’s needs. Again, social media is useful here. Social media monitoring tools are useful for getting an understanding of what people are saying about your brand. If you don’t have time to monitor, invite your customers to submit feedback via satisfaction surveys.
  • Analyse customer success metrics: What constitutes a happy customer in your eyes? Over time this may change, so make time to rethink what makes them happy and what you can consider a success.
  • Treat your staff well: As Richard Branson said, “Happy employees equal happy customers”. If your staff are happy, it will translate to happy customers which will ultimately result in an increase in the number of brand advocates your business has.
  • Incentivise customers: Incentivising your customers to spread the word about your brand can be effective. Refer a friend campaigns, loyalty points and rewards all go a long way.

1,2. 15 Reasons Why Brand Advocates are the Bedrock of Your Business

Other Resources:
9 Reasons Your Company Should Use Brand Advocates: New Research
The Age of Advocacy and Influence: 26 Stats Marketers Should Know
Under the Influence: Consumer Trust in Advertising
The Power of Brand Advocacy [Infographic]

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Sam Edmond

Sam Edmond is Digital Marketing Director for Live group. His digital marketing experience includes roles in Auckland, London, and Sydney. Sam is a Kiwi and supports Arsenal F.C.