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Nurturing Trust, Turning Customers into Advocates

Adovcates

We’ve navigated through an overwhelming and dishonest online marketplace and established the grave importance of trust in customer relationships. We’ve explored options for attracting strangers and developing relationships with prospects by offering free, high-value content and providing them with guidance as they embark on their buyer’s journey.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 

You’ve planted your garden, watered your seeds, and been careful in your approach to growing these prospects. The fruits of your labor have ripened, and you’ve harvested many of them in the form of signed contracts, purchased products, or service agreements. Your prospects have been successfully converted into paying customers.

But the journey isn’t over yet! It doesn’t end there.

Now it’s time to look at ways to make that relationship stick and keep your garden in bloom for years to come.

Customer satisfaction is one of the most important elements of the Customer Trust Circle because it’s what fuels customers to become advocates for your brand. When you put your energy and resources into fully satisfying users, you effectively create walking billboards for your company by simply being great at what you do.

So how do you interact with your new customers in a way that is going to feed their satisfaction? How do you keep them happy and continue nurturing the relationship now that you’re here?

Inside the Mind of a Potential Advocate

Let’s take a moment to explore what’s going through your new customer’s head and some of the things that will impact whether or not they decide to become an advocate for your company.

Your customer is likely feeling hopeful at this point. You’ve presented a growing number of solutions to the pain they’ve been experiencing for a while now. Thus far in the relationship, you’ve shown them nothing but ways that you can help them. This is an excellent position to be in as long as you are ready to follow through. Regardless, there’s no going back now.

You’ve put your customer in a position to rely on you. Your interactions so far have been meaningful and useful. Keep building off this positive hopeful momentum. They’ve bought into your marketing strategy and now they’re relying on you to come through for them with the final delivery. To keep the momentum you’ve built, you have to deliver on your promise!

Reassure them again that you have what they need and make sure what you’re about to deliver is the right fit for them. Don’t forget your tailored strategy after the sale has been finalized. It’s always a good idea to keep checking in with your customer’s needs to see if they’ve changed and if there are any tweaks that can be made on your end to accommodate them. This should be integrated into your delivery program.

Although your new customer is feeling hopeful and trust is continuing to be built between you and them, they are still evaluating, checking, and testing their membership with your product or service. They’ve made the choice to work with you, but they still want to make sure they’ve made the right choice. At this point in the relationship, you are in a trial zone. This could make or break your relationship, which is why careful attention to delivery management is so important.

So, how do you confirm to them that they’ve made the right choice by working with you? You need to deliver on the promises you made before they made the purchase.

This is the ultimate trust-building exercise. Can you follow through with what you’ve assured?

You’ve come this far on your trust journey, but failing to deliver on your promise means that everything may very quickly fall apart. At the very least, you will lose the trust you’ve built with this particular customer. Worse, you could receive negative reviews that will impact your relationships with future prospects. You can see why the delivery process cannot be taken lightly. Delivering on your promise ensures the trust circle doesn’t break.

The most effective way to deliver on your promises and hold yourself accountable to achieving the utmost in customer satisfaction is by tying the success of your customers to your own. This simple tip has the power to completely transform your business model.

Tying the Success of Your Customer to Your Own

There are a number of ways you can tie the success of your customers to your own. The key in this approach is to integrate a path to customer success into your operations. You can do this by providing support, follow up, and expansion for your products and services, to name a few. You’ll also need to identify a metric for monitoring.

Ensure that your customers are successfully adopting and using your product or service by checking in that they have the right resources and support. You know what is needed to effectively use what they’ve purchased, whether that is strong implementation, a standard onboarding process, free training seminars, self-help resources, or a digital knowledge base. Having a customer support phone or chat line available during standard operating hours is also a good idea.

Measure the use of support resources using an appropriate metric—such as the number of hits and a short satisfaction survey—and tie this figure to your overall performance evaluation.

Check in with your customers often to make sure they are continuing to receive the expected value from their purchased products and services. Actively listen to what they have to say and reassess their needs as needed. You may ask them to complete a short customer service survey in exchange for a reward and use the results of this survey to measure your success in retaining current customers. Don’t forget to open communication channels for customers to come to you with feedback whenever the need arises.

As you continue to assess and reassess customer needs, start exploring ways to expand your product and service offerings for them. Think of the saying, “A customer, is a customer, is a customer.” This means that, if done right, a customer isn’t just a customer once, but many times. You have the opportunity to build that ongoing relationship.

Since you’ve already built a relationship with your customer and earned their trust, they’ve become like a fruit-bearing tree in your orchard that you can harvest again and again. If you keep them happy, they’re more likely to spend more money with you, reinforce the relationship, and foster more trust. Keep communication channels open and always provide thoughtful recommendations based on the needs they’ve related to you.

As you implement all of these strategies, remember that what gets measured is what gets done. It’s critical that you measure these ways of tying customer success to your own and monitor constantly for opportunities for improvement.

Reaping the Benefits of an Effective Strategy

By tying your customers’ success to your own, you naturally develop a stronger understanding of their pains and needs. This can help you build a better product or service and continue to increase trust. Continuing to build trust increases momentum and positions you to accelerate your sales by creating advocates for your brand that will attract new customers for you. This brings us to the final segment of this series.