5 Steps To Turn Customers Into Advocates For Your Business

Peter Druker-Customer Service QuoteCustomers are the lifeblood of any business, without them you actually don't have a business.

Every business dreams of having enthusiastic customers, ones who look for any opportunity to spread the good word about their business and it's excellent service.  The question is, how do you turn your satisfied customers into enthusiastic advocates for your business?

The 5 tips below will get you on your way to turning your customers into raving fans for your business.  The first three can be replicated by your competitors with some work, but the last two are much harder to copy and will elevate you above most of your competition.

1- Be  Friendly.  Everyone wants to do business with people they like, and are naturally attracted to friendly, positive people.  Create a warm, friendly atmosphere for your customers when they walk through your door.  People will relax and open up once they feel comfortable doing business with you.  If you've never read “How to Win Friends and Influence People“, by Dale Carnegie….it's probably the best book on communications and relating to people ever written.

Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends. – WALT DISNEY

2- Be Consistent.  Your customers expect you to deliver on what you say you'll deliver.  If you aren't consistent in delivering on the little things, like answering your phone consistently or returning calls in a timely manner, any mind blowing feats of customer service you dream up and implement won't matter.  Like they say in basketball, “Slam dunks woo the crowd, but layups win the game”.  Make sure you can deliver on your customer promises each and every time before you start moving onto anything spectacular.

Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game. – TONY ALESSANDRA

3- Be Available.  Your customers expect you to be there when they need you, whether it's responding to phone calls, emails or having someone available on location to answer any questions they may have.  Being available to your customers is vital to building a lasting relationship with them.  Nothing frustrates people more than a business that doesn't make itself available to their customers.  You see the frustrations everywhere from automated answering services (think of your cell phone provider) that create a never ending maze for callers to navigate, to the website that thinks a FAQ page replaces any need to leave a phone number or email on the website for their customers.

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong. – DONALD PORTER

4- Become a partner with your customer.  Don't just sell to your customers, help to solve their problems and achieve their goals.  Listen to them, be responsive to them and make them feel like you're on the same side of the fence as them.  Once a person feels like you're looking out for their best interest, the walls come down and they truly start to value what you have to say.

Here is a simple but powerful rule – always give people more than what they expect to get. – NELSON BOSWELL

5-  Become a resource for your customer.  Become the go to authority in your industry.  Do you help educate your customers?  Do they feel like they can learn something by doing business with you?  Do you connect them to other businesses when you can't provide what they want?  When a customer asks you for your advice and then acts on that advice, you've earned the ultimate relationship with them, one of trust.

The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary. – SAM WALTON

Stop being a salesman

As you can see, the above steps are meant for you to stop being seen as a salesman, but a trusted partner and resource that's looking out for their customer's best interest.  Being likable, doing what you say you will do, and becoming a person and business people trust will help you earn that legion of customer advocates you deserve.

 

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Gary

CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.
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