Customers as Ambassadors


People mistake the term Customer Advocate. A Customer Advocate is one who works for your company but advocates and works to make the company customer-centric and customer friendly.

If the Customer comes first (thanks to your Customer Advocates) and if you are truly creating value for the Customer, he will reward you with loyalty and referrals.  Such people become your Customer Ambassadors.

In today’s day and age of the social media, your interaction with customers often become virtual ones! The social media becomes more important. How do you work with or follow or use social Customer Ambassadors and network with them, and get them to refer other customers to you?

Customers with “Social Value”: Your Customer Ambassadors

Most companies measure Customers Life time Value. The equation includes the Customer’s current buying, the expected rate of growth of his buying over the years, and the business obtained from the referrals he provides.  Very often these referrals are more important than his own purchases. You need these customers as your Customer Ambassadors, and their value as Customer Ambassadors can be immense.

How do Customers become your Customer Ambassadors? The necessary condition is that you create great value for them over what your competition can. As value increases, (and value is what it is worth to the Customer to do business with you and includes your products, the relationship, the image and brand, your people and service, and the price and non price terms). A good Customer Ambassador recommends you to his network. A great Brand Ambassador also has a virtual social network where he can and does refer you.

This last kind of a Brand Ambassador has to be nurtured because his referral value can be huge. As an example if he buys 100rs a month, but refers 10 customers who buy an average of 60 Rs, he has referred 600rs to you.

Today, the bulk of referrals are face to face, followed by telephones, and social media is a distinct third but growing. That is why you have to follow your customer Ambassador there onto the net. The next article discusses this.

You need a data capture mechanism that captures referrals and Customers referring customers, You can then start a special campaign for them. (you could also identify them from surveys as those who would definitely recommend, and by asking how many people have you recommend or can you suggest people we can contact. This can be added to your data base.

Ask what made these people my Customer Ambassadors. How can I convert others to become Customer Ambassadors? There are many methods you might have used in the past such as asking for forwarding of marketing emails, rewards for referrals, or events where such Ambassadors can bring friends. Do something special for your Ambassadors

Recognise that your best customers are introducing you to their friends and making you part of their social circle. Give them your highest priority and rewards and treat them as special.

Creating Value for your Customer’s Network and Gaining from it

How do you create value from a Customer’s Network? We all know that if you have a great Customer Network, it can lead to referral buying. How do you get to referral buying? A Customer Network is your captive one which you normally manage through databases and CRM and your website. The bigger data base and network is your Customer’s Network (the network outside of your day to day control)

First, you can see the advantages of a customer’s Network. If you use it intelligently, you can get the customer to come to you directly, circumventing the normal means he would have used such as looking for the product on the net or going to a store to figure out whether s/he should buy from you or buy your products and services. Instead of this, they might use recommendations from friends, from social media like Facebook or Twitter. They look at what their influencers and friends have to say. They bypass some early buying steps. It is convenient for them and much easier for you to sell to them because they come with some positive pre-determined ideas

How do you get to this point? First you have to create value for your existing customers. You have to create substantially more value than your competition. Customers then reward you with loyalty and referrals. Creating Value means it is much more worth your customers while to do business with you over competing offers. Your product, services, people and marketing have to better than competitions.

You also have to participate in the Customers Network. What is the social space your customers use? How do they surf the net looking for merchandise through their customer network. How do you become a real (though background ) part of this network? Can you become the customers aide in this interaction with his social space. How do you understand this interaction and how do you derive the data about this interaction or how do you monitor the customers network without invading his privacy? How can you influence him during this phase.

Today, you first step is to be part of this social space, become one with them in this space, and become a trusted ally and part of the referral chain. Then price becomes less of an issue in the value equation. You must start to understand what value your customers need in this space and for a customer why he should (and make it easy for him) to refer you. And how can you add value (make it easier) for a customer looking for a referral. What do you have to slend to eventually create value from your Customers Network.

Contact Customer Value Foundation to influence your customers than ever before.
Gautam Mahajan
Customer Value Foundation

Explore posts in the same categories: Business & Management


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One Comment on “Customers as Ambassadors”

  1. Very good sir.

    Mr Pratap Nair
    FEI Cargo Ltd

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