Providing a great product, a wonderful customer experience, and actively engaging customers based on their preferences make up the foundation of turning a customer into a fan. It’s what sets the scene, or as they say: “If you build it, they will come.” But, the number of companies who have fans that mobilize into movements all by themselves are few and far between. Quite simply, we have to get in the habit of asking for our fans to speak up.
Will the Fans Please Rise?
Many of us are fans of companies, but don’t share our stories until prompted to think about it. Until a friend asks us for a recommendation for a restaurant, mechanic, or electric toothbrush, do we realize that we are passionate fans about so many companies. A number of companies make their point of differentiation on the reviews of things they sell – Amazon, Yelp, Overstock.com, etc. to name a few. Reviews have a big influence on decision-making and can create communities who actually create free, compelling content which engages other customers. In fact, Opinion Research Group did some research on the power of online reviews and found that 84% of Americans report that online reviews impact how the products and services that they buy, yet only 28% report writing their own feedback. How do you inspire your fans to speak up?
- Make it easy: Getting your customer’s support is work for them. Make things as simple as possible. Ask them to engage in the channels that they frequent the most and support their on-the-go lifestyles.
- Give them a forum: Create a place that gives your consumer a way to express their feedback and find the opinions of our fans.
- Time your ask (and follow-up): Getting the timing right is important, and it’s a matter of finding the balance between it being recent, but enough time to evaluate your product experience. The best reviews are those of people that have lived with a product or service long enough to have an educated opinion. After all, there’s no point to those reviews where someone just says, “I just took it out of the box, but I give it five stars.” Consider asking fans for follow-ups to ensure good content.
Every company has fans. It is a matter of inspiring them to come out of the woodwork to share their experience with others. When thinking about building your fan base, remember the answer to a question not asked, is always “no.”
For a deeper dive into modern marketing best practices, read our whitepaper titled The New Event-Driven Marketing.