Main Content

Back to Blog List

How to Create Small Business Advocates Out of Your Loyal Customers
  • 31 January 2017
  • Elvis Michael

How to Create Small Business Advocates Out of Your Loyal Customers

When your loyal customers naturally transform into small business advocates, you can take advantage of all that word-of-mouth marketing has to offer. Instead of focusing on complicated marketing methods, you may be able to resonate with your audience through a friendly and more personal approach. Best of all, most of these tools should already be at your disposal. Here are some tips on how to create small business advocates out of your loyal customers.

Connect on a personal level

No one likes to be treated like a number in a long line of customers. You should strive to acknowledge your new and existing customers by name whenever possible, whether you obtain this information during the checkout phase or through a friendly, old-fashioned introduction. And while you probably will not remember every single customer, those you do recognize will undoubtedly feel more valued.

Create a loyalty program

Loyalty or rewards programs are generally popular for a reason. These initiatives essentially provide a win-win situation while bringing customers and businesses closer. You may want to consider offering monthly discounts, free yearly upgrades, or even complimentary items for first-time clients.

Leverage social media outlets

A strong social media presence is vital when you are looking to find small business advocates. While most companies already have active social accounts, not all of these companies take the time to connect with their customers on a regular basis.

As a best practice, you should refrain from using your social media presence strictly as a sales vehicle. Apply the 80/20 rule. That rule states that 80 percent of the time, your content should engage your customers while 20 percent of your content can be promotional. Leverage your social media accounts as an opportunity to resonate with your followers. Start a conversation, ask questions, and take polls to survey their interests. Once you determine what types of customers make up your target audience, you can easily adapt the tone, style, and content of your posts accordingly.

Implement recurring deals and contests

Giveaways and special offers naturally add more value to your brand in your customers' eyes. The key here is to offer long-term, ongoing products until customers gradually identify your small business with said gesture. You could even leverage your social media accounts to create monthly contests for your customers. If you need a little extra help getting started, you can invest in services like those provided by Vionic's Deal Maker, which can help you to engage social media followers with ease through eye-catching announcements and promotions.

Always pay attention to feedback

It is clear that addressing customer concerns is an important part of running a small business. You can make feedback analysis a priority by creating a highly visible comment form on your company website, newsletter service and physical store. If you really want to go that extra mile, you can take the time to personally thank those customers who have shed light on a particularly prominent concern.

Give a new meaning to customer service

Every company strives to keep its customers happy, but you need to take customer service to the next level if you want to create true small business advocates. For example, you could encourage your employees to interact with paying customers while they are waiting in line. Perhaps your team members could ask whether or not these customers have any questions regarding the products they are about to purchase and upsell on add-on products/services. Of course, feedback comes into play here, as well. If a customer seems to be especially dissatisfied, you could potentially provide a small, thoughtful freebie.

Give customers an unexpected perk

While on the subject of freebies, it is important to note that customers always appreciate an unexpected surprise or perk. Perhaps you could upgrade the occasional buyer to a premium service solely based on his or her outstanding shopping history, or simply send out a handwritten card on his or her birthday. It is all about adding a personal touch, which is what ultimately encourages customers to look at your business in new and exciting ways.

These seemingly small gestures can have a substantial impact on your reputation as a small business, allowing you to turn even casual customers into loyal small business advocates.

Back to Blog List