Social media channels have become the norm. One of the big lessons I have taught and preached over the years is about customer loyalty. In short, people think of loyalty as a customer for a lifetime, but it is really much simpler than that. It’s about the next time, every time. I even have a […]
One of the big lessons I have taught and preached over the years is about customer loyalty. In short, people think of loyalty as a customer for a lifetime, but it is really much simpler than that. It’s about the next time, every time. I even have a simple question that reinforces this concept, which I refer to as The Loyalty Question:
Is what I’m doing right now going to get the customer to come back the next time he or she needs whatever it is that I sell?
It’s all about what’s happening right now, and what is going to happen the very next time. Practicing this concept over time creates lifetime customers.
Well, today there is a twist on this concept. Thanks to technology, which has brought us social media and various Internet sites, we can now spin this question a different way. I refer to this as The Evangelist Question:
Is what I’m doing right now going to make the customer want to leave a review on Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, etc.?
In other words, is your customer willing to evangelize on your behalf? More than just recommend you, is your customer willing to give you a positive review via social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, or websites such as Yelp, Ubranspoon and Angie’s List?
And, if that review is positive, then you have the answer you want (and hope for) to both the Loyalty Question and the Evangelist Question. A positive review means the customer will be willing to return.
This is an important concept for both B2C and B2B businesses. Most people would think the social media sites and websites are primarily focused on retailers selling to consumers. B2B must think broader and realize there are industry magazines, bloggers and even an industry conference where customers will “review” you and your company.
Today is an era of communication that is different than even just a few years ago. Social media channels have become the norm. People will “talk” on these channels, sharing their experiences with others, in both private and public forums. There is no way around it, so why not embrace it. Create a customer experience that is so good that it makes your customers want to share their experiences with others. The benefit falls under the category of Word-of-Mouth marketing, where your customers evangelize on your behalf, creating credible social proof that someone should want to do business with you.
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)
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