Before we get into advocate and promote, we’re talking about our best customers, who are loyal and return customers. How do we get customers to this point to start with?
Start by listening to (or reading) the last eight weeks of the customer journey. Have a really super enjoyable and effective customer journey designed. If you think ‘customer first’ you won’t have a problem getting them to this point – staying curious about them, continuously fostering a really strong relationship, building trust in you as someone who can actually solve their problem and satisfy their needs, creating opportunities for them, and ensuring you’re delivering as promised with a bonsu of surprising and delighting them.
Let’s start with Advocate – I’m thinking testimonials, reviews – am I right?
So these can be from people who have received the benefits of your products or services, who have seen first-hand the benefits received by others, advocates can be partners who believe your products and services actually complement theirs or individuals and businesses that receive benefits themselves should others become customers. Advocates may even be potential customers who see the benefit of becoming customers and want their colleagues, family, friends to join them on the journey.
How would you ask for these from customers?
Testimonials or reviews from previous customers – you want to be asking for these as soon as they’ve received the product or service but ideally, also when they’ve achieved a milestone. Create a number of mini wins throughout the sales process – by doing this you’re also creating a number of opportunities where you can have ‘asks’ like these.
For invitations inside your platform – these are made best when people are making a decision themselves or making an action. For example, with a bride – invite the mother-of-the-bride and the bridesmaids to join. With a task management system – invite users from outside the platform. By sending these invitations to people who actually create an account, your community is advocating for your product or service without even realising it.
For sharing content with others – this is best made as soon as they request access to the content. For example, when signing up for a workshop or as soon as they have consumed the content, ask around – who else might this be valuable for? Who else might this be able to help?
What is the best format to collect and present testimonials and reviews?
Testimonials or reviews – think about where you’re focusing your awareness strategies and where potential customers are seeing these testimonials or reviews. If your current strategy is to access new customers to share – testimonials on social media platforms won’t be as effective as building awareness of your products or services. And it will only be benefitting in the acquisition phases onwards if these social media testimonials or reviews show up beside the same items wherever and whenever potential customers are viewing these online.
For invitations inside the platform as another form of advocation, these can be as simple as suggesting they invite others to view the items they are looking at, get advice on items they are currently looking at buying, finding ways for them to add people even without them even feeling like it’s an invitation. For example, when you go to view something on Google or YouTube you’re asked to create an account.
Promotion is a little different though, this is where my customers go out and actively share my products with friends, family and followers. Almost like our own free influencers. How do we get customers to want to do this?
Incentives are generally helpful. However, if you are making a big enough impact on them it won’t take much to get them to advocate for you as long as you make it simple for them to do so.
You can also think more strategically around building network effects – this is a term seen a lot in the tech community and it’s essentially when having your friends join you actually improves your own experience. For example, social media platforms would be pretty boring if no-one else was on there. So, whether you’re selling a product or a service there are some incredible ways to build a community around you, on your website, your platform, your online store, and make it really simple to create opportunities for your community to be promoting you.
Also, when I’m sharing the products I’m looking at online with my friends for feedback – I’m promoting. Is this something retailers could experiment with?
This is a really simple strategy to test while also increasing brand awareness at the same time. If you are not already doing this and you’re an online fashion retailer – talk to the PUCTTO team!
What are three things tips you would give to an online fashion retailer to start introducing ‘advocate and promote’ into the customer journey?
- Once you’ve designed your customer journey, look over it again and be really focused on where people are receiving value, achieving milestones, making a decision, or considering something and find ways for them to consciously and subconsciously advocate and promote you and your brand.
- Make it incredibly simple for them to do so and provide all the information they need to act on your request or call to action. It’s even better if you can create the customer story for them – which they can simply share or even add a small, personalised comment before sharing. And, then you’ll have a super customer-centric story coming direct from them to your ideal audience.
- Think about your advocating and promoting tactics that support and strengthen awareness, acquisition, activation and attention strategies in your customer journey. By doing so you’ll actually find a bunch of ways to streamline your strategies and with only 20% of your output you’ll actually achieve 80% of the results you’re looking for.
- BONUS for fashion retailers
Talk to Crystal and the PUCTTO team – their goal is creating more engagement and building a community for fashion retailers around your products so it actually means that their success is your success – so having the courage to be vulnerable with PUCTTO and sharing your challenges and fears, they will actually be able to dedicate their team to not only helping you survive but thrive, no matter what gets thrown your way.
That’s the end of the customer journey, from here we are asking retailers, what do you need right now to help your business? We will collate the questions and do two special weeks with Becci of Q&A, specifically to meet your needs.
Proudly presented by PUCTTO + BECCI REID
PUCTTO – www.puctto.com
PUCTTO virtual try-on technology lets shoppers visualize fashion on a photo of themselves. For online fashion retailers, a widget on their website increases exposure, engages customers and ultimately helps them stand out from the crowd.
BECCI REID – www.beccireid.com
I’m an Aussie entrepreneur based in LA and working with awesome people across the globe through advisory, and consulting while building my own tech startup. I understand the highs and lows at multiple stages on the journey and can’t wait to learn about yours 🙂