Buyers would rather hear from other customers than from your marketing or salespeople.
While your Facebook page may serve as a venue for your customers to share what their thoughts on your product or company, a Q&A site hosted on your website provides a venue in which customers can answer other customers’ questions, in an interactive and engaging way.
Most consumers would rather get support from others using a product or service than from a customer service representative. Engaged customers are a great source for insights and trusted information for prospective customers. They have a better inherent understanding of customer needs than your employees.
Building a customer community is a great way to identify the “promoters” and “true believers” of your brand, engage with them, and provide a venue for them to share thoughts and suggestions.
The strongest social movements are peer-based and your most loyal customers are the people that can drive the movement for your company.
Attributes of empowered and engaged customers include:
- Proud to be associated with your company
- Willingly share their knowledge and experience
- Want to help others
- Aspire to expand their network
- Active online and in other communities
- Have authority, influence, and respect
- Communicate online on a regular basis – may even have a blog
- Ready to respond
- Want to do the right thing – for other customers and the company
Companies that can build a community of engaged customers can leverage their emotions in a way that benefits the brand and facilitates even greater emotional connection to the brand by other customers.
Once you’ve identified your most engaged customers, reach out to them one-on-one to enhance the relationship. Let them know how much you appreciate their business and for taking a lead role in promoting the community. Include them in product development and user experience efforts. These people are clearly committed to the success of your brand. The more you involve them, the more they’ll give back to the company and the community.
What are you doing to empower your most ardent customers to share their love of your brand?