Part 4 of the “Marketing Hourglass” covered the loyalty stage of the customer lifecycle, you can read it here. Part 5, the final stage, is focused on how to turn loyal customers into advocates for your business. Chances are you don’t have a large marketing department or an outside sales team pounding the pavement for you. But if you can create brand advocates for your business you can multiply your sales and marketing effort exponentially. Fortunately it usually only takes a little nudge to get your loyal customers to become customer advocates and, if you followed our guide to the marketing hourglass, you will have a steady stream of new loyal customers. Keep reading to find out how to get a growing number of people to happily funnel new business your way.
Awareness – People realize they have a need (Ex. to go fishing or hunting) and become aware that your company offers that service.
Consideration – During this phase of the buying process you want your brand to be top-of-mind as the buyer begins to actively evaluate their options.
Purchase – The age old tradition of closing the deal.
Loyalty – As the saying goes “it is much cheaper to keep a customer than to create a new one.”
Advocacy – A loyal customer has an unmatched influence on a potential customer, so turn your loyal customers into customer advocates and grow your business in the most efficient way possible.
1. Find Your Potential Advocates
Not every customer will become a loyal customer and not every loyal customer wants to be a brand advocate. Identify the ones who will be most likely to promote you by sending out a simple survey. Make sure to include the following question:
On a scale of 1-10 how likely are you to recommend (your brand)?
Anyone who answers with a 9 or 10 is a strong candidate for becoming an advocate. Use the steps in this article to build your relationship with these customers and convert them into advocates.
Another way to find potential advocates is to “like” each of your clients on social media. When you are doing so you can get a feel for how active they are. Some of your clients will be an order of magnitude more active than others. Pay attention to the ones that post relevant content to your business and have a large number of followers. These are “influencers”. Influencers are people who already have an audience, and are already a trusted source for information. You want as many of the influencers as possible to become customer advocates.
2. Make Them Feel Special
Next, you need to nurture your relationship with advocates. If you want them to give your brand special treatment, treat them like they are special customers. This can take many forms so chose the ways that feel right to you.
-Send a personal thank you note after they fish or hunt with you
-Give them a t-shirt or other swag, everyone likes free stuff and now they are wearing your brand
-Write personal updates about the season that highlight what you know they like hearing about
-Ask them for feedback so they know you value their opinion, it will make them feel like they have “skin in the game”
-Host a customer appreciation event and personally invite them (could be a fish fry, trap day, etc…)
3. Just Ask
Never underestimate how successful simply asking can be. You can test the waters by asking for some very specific content to, for example:
-I have an opening coming up for the Jan 10th trip, do you know anyone who would be interested?
-I have a cancelation next week, do you know anyone who wants the spot?
-I need some reviews on Fin & Field, would you mind creating an account and leaving a review? It only takes a couple minutes.
If you find your potential customer advocates are eager to help you out you can start to ask for broader levels of advocacy. Share with them that you want to extend your season, fish/hunt more days, or add new species to your trips. Ask if they will help spread the word.
5. Offer a Referral Program
If asking for people to promote your business without offering something in return is uncomfortable, then start a referral program. Referral programs are great ways to thank and incentivize your advocates to keep actively promoting your brand. Ideas for referral programs are endless, here are a few basic ideas but feel free to think outside the box.
-Offer your advocates first right of refusal on booking dates for upcoming seasons
-Offer a discount on future trips for every new client they refer
-Extend the discount to the new client as well to encourage them to book a trip
-Provide your successful customer advocates with premium branded gear (like technical shirts)
Studies show that referred customers have a higher lifetime value than other customers. In other words, referred customers are more likely to be loyal customers. Creating a referral program is not a cost as much as an investment.
6. Be Their Microphone
Since you want your customer advocates to have a large reach, make sure to share their content. Whenever they post a trip report, a tip, trick, or idea related to fishing and hunting make sure to share it. The more authority you can help your advocates build the more their words will matter when they promote your business (make sure to thank them and share those posts too!).
If you have any great incentives you use to thank your advocates, please share them with us!
About Fin & Field
#FinandField #FYNA #DreamBig2016
Fin & Field is all about finding your next adventure. We’re working hard to provide the most comprehensive listing of services, reviews, and far reaching community available to help you take the guesswork out of planning your next adventure.
We believe in the ethical pursuit of hunting and fishing adventures and support taking from the land only what you can use and leaving it in better shape than you found it.
Tight Lines & Happy Hunting!
Visit us at www.finandfield.com