I don’t know about you, but I cannot get through a day without hearing terms like “Customer Satisfaction” or “Customer Experience” or “Customer Delight.” I suppose I should take some solace from the fact that organizations are at least interested in what their customers think and feel about their experience with the product or service they have consumed.
Unfortunately, organizations that focus on Customer Satisfaction are selling themselves short.The real objective should be to create brand advocates. Unlike satisfied customers, who are still susceptible to special offers and pricing discounts offered by your competition, brand advocates have made an emotional, personal connection with your organization, and will not be swayed by these superficial efforts.
Satisfied customers may say “nice” things about your brand, but only when asked. Their description of your product or service would be along the lines of, “We haven’t had any trouble with them, and we’re pretty happy with our experience so far.” While this kind of description may tip the scales slightly in your favor, it still leaves plenty of room for the competition to be considered.
Brand advocates are like unpaid ambassadors for your brand. They go out of their way to tell everyone they know that your brand is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and one would be a fool to even consider going with anyone else. By making a single post on a social media website, a brand advocate connects with 150 people, on average. Coupled with the fact that 90% of consumers trust word of mouth marketing (as opposed to a 33% trust level for online ads), and this becomes a very powerful competitive advantage.
For more information on how to create and sustain relationships with brand advocates, you can view a twenty minute webinar on this topic at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ojsf57Xenk