Raving fans are like business ambassadors

Want to win new customers? Make sure you start with the ones you already have. Studies show that the longer your customers stay, the more they’ll spend with you.

Happy customers = loyal customers = boosted bottom line

The term ‘raving fans’ relates to a passionate subset (usually about 10-15%) of your customer base, who are so in love with your business that they shout it out from the rooftops. They keep coming back, not because it’s convenient, but because they want to. And, even if you’ve had a bad moment, they’ll stick with you while others shoot out the door.

These people are GOLD, and the very best ambassadors for your brand. So how do you go about reciprocating their loyalty and growing their numbers?

According to global leaders like Apple, Starbucks and Amazon, the trick is to ‘do right and delight’. Give them customer service with bling - 100% then adding that surprising bit extra.

Here are some tips to try:

Under promise and over deliver - It’s tempting to promise the world to your customers. But be careful - because then you have to live up to the hype! A better approach is to deliver more than your customers expect. Tell them that their parcel will arrive within three days for example, and then send it overnight. Or throw something extra into the deal, like a percentage off their bill. When you surprise and delight your customers with added value, they’ll return the favour in kind – raving about your fantastic service to their friends and contacts, who are then primed to become your next customers.

Be consistent, day in - day out - While it’s good to inject a bit of wow factor from time to time you also need to get the basics right. It starts with being consistent, and making sure that your customers’ experience is seamless across the board. With every interaction - be it in person, online or over the phone – your customers need to know what they’re going to get, and that they can count on you to deliver. That’s what keeps them coming back - and, over time, moves the relationship from happy customer to loyal, raving fan.

Turn lemons into lemonade - On the odd occasion that things do go wrong (and they will), don’t panic. Always remember that it’s less about the issue itself and more about how you handle it. A slip-up is often the best chance to lift your game, showcase your ability to listen to your customers and potentially turn an annoyed client into a loyal one. When a problem is resolved quickly and efficiently, in a friendly and responsive manner – the negative becomes a positive.

Ask for honest feedback - A satisfaction rating from 1-10 isn’t really going to help you. But when you dig deep and ask specific questions, like ‘what’s the one thing we can do to improve’ – then you’ve got something to work with. It’s important that you follow through, and act on this feedback of course. And keep your customers in the loop. People love to know that their opinions matter - it strengthens the relationship, and gives them a vested interest in your success. Also, while we’re on feedback, never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned testimonial. Once you have your raving fans, be sure to use their reviews on your website, throughout social media and on all your marketing material. True stories from enthusiastic customers are powerful. Leverage them!

Finally, always remember that while raving fans are happy to tell everyone about the things they love about your company – disgruntled customers can’t wait to rattle on about their bad experiences. We know which scenario we prefer.

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