Despite the many advancements in marketing, word-of-mouth remains one of the most powerful ways to drive profit. More than 60% of marketers agree that is the most effective way to boost sales, with results proving five times better than paid advertising. It is even more critical for small, local businesses to build a regular customer base within their nearby community.
By combining word-of-mouth marketing with current communication platforms like social media, businesses can expand the reach of positive reviews and encourage customers to share their experiences. Today, almost 60% of customers communicate their positive reviews on social networks and approach friends and family for recommendations using these platforms.
One currently popular recommendation is of businesses that allow customers to save money. During the pandemic, more than half of customers prioritize their financial savings. Younger audiences, like Gen Z, are considered financially savvy regardless of Covid, and nearly 70% of them use budgeting tools and technologies to help them save money.
The above facts lead to one conclusion for small businesses: It’s essential to get loyal customers to spread the word about the benefits they receive from the business, including the ability to save by joining the loyalty club and its dedicated app. Small businesses must ensure that people receive recognizable value and find it easy to share the news.
If you run a small business looking to turn loyal customers into supportive ambassadors, try the following tips:
- Go digital: If you expect your audience to share their positive loyalty experience via online channels, focus on customers who understand these platforms and use them. A digital loyalty club speaks volumes to digital natives but is actually used by customers of all ages and backgrounds if it’s user-friendly. Sharing becomes much easier because a digital loyalty platform creates a short flow that allows customers to quickly post a screenshot from the app on social media.
- Invest in content: Speaking of sharing screenshots, why not give customers something entertaining and smart to share? Send clever text notifications to make customers smile and post the content on their social profiles. Your content should be topical, bold, attentive, and creative. This way, even customers who wouldn’t typically tell the world about the benefits of your loyalty club will be tempted to talk about your brand’s inspiring wordplay.
- Bring value: This may seem like a given, but unfortunately, many loyalty clubs fail to offer real value to customers. Why would anyone recommend something they don’t truly enjoy themselves? Make sure your customers know how much they saved using clear reports and notifications. Find out if they’re satisfied with their loyalty experience and ask what else your business can do to make them happy. This level of attention goes a long way, and letting customers know you care will make them tell everyone else about you and your business.
- Offer incentives: Encourage customers to refer friends and get additional benefits for themselves. Create shared experiences where customers can get extra discounts if they visit your business with their mom on Mother’s Day, for example. Give them the perfect excuse to share the news and make it worthwhile. If you pick the right incentive to offer, you’ll reach accurate audiences that were selected by your loyal customers and are likely to find your business relevant.
- Simply ask: Loyal customers who appreciate your services and the benefits you offer are happy to show their support. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen customers rally around their favorite local businesses because these establishments managed to build genuine relationships with their audience. Remind customers that letting friends know about your business makes them everyday heroes for you and their loved ones.
You don’t need to be a big brand to have brand ambassadors. You can turn loyal customers into brand ambassadors. In fact, this is one area where SMBs have the upper hand.
Investing in your customer base by offering great loyalty benefits and a smooth user experience yields profit that grows well beyond your immediate, regular crowd. Give your best customers the right tools, and you’d be amazed by the results.