If your brand messaging leads with features and benefits, or starts by touting your industry experience…or innovation…or history, you’re doing it old-school.
Today’s savvy, well-read consumers are more interested in what your product or service can do for them. Will it make their jobs easier? Save them money? Create greater balance in their lives?
Leading with customer-focused benefits is today’s best marketing practice.
Who better to tell that brand-benefit story than your existing customers?
Instead of you broadcasting your product or service benefits, flip it. Put the power of happy customers to work to drive brand reach and grow your bottom line. Customer opinions are not only relatable, they’re highly influential.
- About 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. (Spiegel)
- 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review. (G2 and Heinz Marketing)
Kipp Bodnar at HubSpot notes the compelling simplicity of turning your customers into brand promoters. “Stop wasting the majority of your time and energy talking about your selling points, and instead amplify the best of what’s already being said.”
By allowing customers to tell their stories, you’ll create organic, authentic brand promotion that can help drive referrals and repeat sales.
How do you encourage customers to share their experiences with your brand? Here are a few ideas.
Ask for feedback.
Don’t be shy about asking your customers for their input. At Shamrock, we have a formal feedback program in place. We meet with our customers twice a year for a business review to discuss their experience. We start the dialogue by asking questions like: What are we doing well? What can we do better to improve your experience? How can we better support you?
Depending on your industry or the way you run your business, your customer feedback program could look quite different. It might be an online survey. You could ask for video testimonials. Or it might be as simple as a personal email asking them to share their customer experience.
Listen to what people are saying.
This is so important! We all want to hear all the good stuff. But there is a lot of value, a lot of lessons to be learned from gathering all of the customer input and then making actionable changes based on that feedback. Good or bad, be sure to thank your customers for providing honest feedback.
Engage with your customers online.
If your customers leave comments, questions or reviews online, provide prompt feedback. Potential customers take note of that quick-turn customer service response. Research shows that personal service is where it’s at. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. (PWC)
Encourage social sharing.
Consumers today want to feel good about the brands they support. Build that community around your brand by using hashtags to encourage sharing on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
Customer stories are important to balanced marketing efforts. They can extend your brand reach and close sales. A HubSpot Research poll asked business owners what information they relied on most when making a purchasing decision about business software—55% noted word-of-mouth and social media referrals from friends; only 22% looked to a salesperson.
There is pervasive power in storytelling, particularity when it comes from a customer.
How do you incorporate customer stories and reviews in your brand marketing?
Join the conversation on Shamrock’s Facebook page.