Evangelists are great people to have in your corner; they will promote your business because they’re genuinely happy with your service.
The best evangelists for your business are mainstream customers. These are the average Janes and Joes who shop at your store. Alex Goldfayn, author of the recently published book Evangelist Marketing suggest to start off by targeting the average customer who is typical in every way except that they’re “hyper-repeat customers.” The foundation for creating evangelists from customers is to leverage your strengths in order to understand your customers.
If you’re interested in discovering your evangelists, here are five steps to consider in the transformation.
1. Excel at Your Service
Think about the best steak dinner you ever had in your entire life. In all likelihood, you told a bunch of people about it. Had it only been an average steak dinner, you probably would tell no one about it. It was okay, but not up to a recommendation. Whatever your product or service is, excel at it first.
2. Show Appreciation to Your Repeating Customers
Find your customers and show them how much you appreciate them. If you have a “fan page” or a Google+ page, offer your followers a special deal every now and then. A steak restaurant may offer a free dessert to anyone who mentions the page or blog where you announced the special deal.
3. Listen & Respond to Complaints
Do all you can to make the situation right. Admitting that your business made a mistake, then fixing it for the customer will enhance your reputation on social media and convert a disappointed customer into an evangelist, along with others who read your reviews. You must maintain a positive reputation on social media.
4. Leverage Your Employees
Your employees can be evangelists or at least emissaries. This requires a two-step method that management needs to implement. First, they need to love where they work because they are treated with respect and feel valued by their employer. The second is that they need to be well-trained in customer relations and praised when they have done something routine that makes a customer happy.
5. Quality Over Quantity
It’s better to focus like a laser on a small number of influential clients in order to make it manageable for you to build a personal relationship. Communication with you for any reason should be easy, so make sure they know how to reach you if they believe they need to.
Evangelist marketing is one of the few marketing efforts that start with the customerrather than your company. It is a form of word-of-mouth marketing. When you identify a potential evangelist, ask for a testimonial. When you do this, you are letting these key people know that you appreciate them as your customer.
Evangelists are credible with their peers and can be more influential than a celebrity endorsement. They are underused resources that, if nourished and developed, are the key to growing your business.
Have your turned your clients into evangelists? Share your stories with us in the comments section below.
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