Customers as Ambassadors: Creating Evangelists
A friend of mine prides himself on knowing the best restaurants in town. When he finds a good one, he tells others. It’s not just a matter of letting people know about a good place. It’s a matter of “being in the know.” His knowledge of new restaurants helps create the perception that he knows what others do not.
People like to be “insiders,” with information that others don’t have. When you can encourage the sense that the customer is part of a “special group” with first-hand experience with a product or service, there is a good change that you can turn that customer into an evangelist. Customer evangelism is the process of creating customers who proactively refer business either through word of mouth or identification of new prospects. They continue to make their own contribution to revenue, by using your product or service. But, in addition, they exert energy on your behalf to generate new business. Client evangelism accomplishes three important benefits:
- Identification. Client referral helps you identify highly probable prospects. Because clients tend to know other individuals, who have some of the same needs, they are often the best way to identify others who need what you offer.
- Testimonial. Clients provide tangible and credible evidence of your performance. Everyone wants to know that someone else has
- Greater Sense of Loyalty. Clients want to be seen as “in the know,” having tried a product or service.
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