09 August 2016

BUSINESS - How to Get People Talking About Your Company

Are your customers advocates for your brand or business?

In this connected, social media world, people are talking and you want them to be saying great things about you!

A recent Social Media Examiner podcast features Joey Coleman, a customer advocacy consultant and coach who has worked with Hyatt Hotels, NASA and Zappos.

Coleman believes customer advocacy happens when you reach the point where your customers are such big believers in who you are and what you do that they become your external sales force.

It is the end goal for most organizations - the customer drives new business and increases their own business with the company.

In the podcast Joey describes seven phases of the customer journey:
  • Assessing - the customer assesses if he wants to do business with you
  • Admitting - the customer makes a purchase
  • Anxious - the customer may be second guessing his purchase
  • Activating - the kickoff meeting or when the package gets delivered and opened
  • Acclimating - where the customer is getting used to doing business with you
  • Adopting - when the customer takes ownership of the relationship
  • Advocating - when the customer becomes a raving fan.

Coleman explains that most companies fail at the acclimating phase. It’s a vital part of relationship-building since the customer is figuring out if he wants to have a long-term relationship with you.

Most marketers believe that once the product ships or the contract is signed and gets handed off to the implementation or service delivery team, they no longer have any role, responsibility, or ability to influence acclimation.

Coleman believes this is wrong and presents marketing ideas that are designed to build engagement with the customer, and thoughts around retention bonuses for staff.

Marketing is becoming more customer-centric and adopting this model can help transition customers through the phases and develop more advocates.

He also makes some very important points about when not to ask for feedback or involvement. For example: don’t ask at time of purchase, hold off until the adopting phase.

If you have wondered how to get people talking about you on social media and to their friends, customer advocacy is something you want to learn more about.

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