Raving fans naturally promote what they love. They are truly enthusiastic and they like to connect with other fans. Most people think of sports fans, or celebrity fans, but there are fans of brands, fans of products and services.
One of the best things a business can have is a loyal, enthusiastic fan base. These people talk, tweet, and post about your business. How fantastic is that? That is free promotion, free advertising, and seriously long-term customers and referrers.
Wouldn’t it be great if it were easy to have killer fan base?
It’s not exactly easy to get a wildly raving fan base, but there are things you can do to cultivate loyal, enthusiastic fans.
1. Customer Appreciation – Never underestimate the power of gratitude and appreciation. It may sound basic, but it’s so often overlooked yet it’s incredibly powerful. The reason it’s often overlooked is that too many businesses think that they are showing customer appreciation and they fail evaluate their customer appreciation. How do you show customer appreciation in your business? You may consider customer appreciation discounts, thank you notes, thank you tweets, and other ways of showing your true appreciation.
2. Great Customer Experience - When is the last time you tried to step into your customer’s perspective and see how they experience your business? When is the last time you asked a customer what their customer experience was like and what they liked and disliked in their experience
3. Communication -
Feedback –Remember theold suggestion box? They still work! These days you have the option of sending an email survey, or having customers fill out a form or go for the physical suggestion box. ASK your customers and prospects for their feedback. Not only will it tell you about the customer experience, but it will also grow their loyalty because they feel their opinion matters and they are part of your community.
Ask for testimonials – If you feel your customers are happy, ask them for a testimonial or a review. This builds a positive reputation for your business, but it also grows that customer loyalty. They’ve taken the time to write what they like about your business and they feel like an advocate. They are willing to share the integrity of their personal reputation, to give your business a public referral and their vote of confidence. Now they have a deeper connection to your business.
4. Participation and Community involvement – One of the best things you can do to turn customers into raving fans is to get them involved. When a person is involved and their participation is appreciated and their opinions matter, you will feel the love! Now because every business is a bit different and finding ways to have customers participate and be involved in your community will vary.
5. Generate Conversation – Hello social media! Social media is one of the best ways to have an open communication channel and encourage conversation. Some tips on generating conversation is:
- Have interesting photos from your business events, customer photos
- Turn your marketing materials into interesting conversation pieces
- Ask questions in your status updates and tweets (on Facebook and Twitter.)