It’s been a long road, but we’re almost to the end of our trek with step 7 of the customer value journey-advocate! Through our series of blogs, we’ve introduced you to the first six steps of the journey: Generating awareness, driving engagement, building subscribers, increasing conversions, building excitement, and helping your customers or prospects ascend. In this seventh step, we’ll talk about how to use what you’ve built so far to start developing social proof of your success by asking your customers or clients to become advocates of your business. Join us in step 7 of the customer value journey-advocate.
Step 7 of the Customer Value Journey-Advocate
What does it mean for a customer or client to become an advocate of your business? It basically means that your client is willing (and excited!) to talk about your products or services to their friends, family members, colleagues, and others who they believe may be able to benefit from working with you. Not only that, but they’re also willing to share their experience and successes with your company on a larger platform. Basically, a client becomes an advocate when they’re willing to put their reputation on the line by promoting what you do. While this is not the end of the journey, it’s certainly one of the most important and meaningful steps.
Developing social proof
When a client or customer is willing to become an advocate of our business, we need to capitalize on it. It’s great when clients tell those close to them all their good experiences with your business, of course, but that only reaches a certain number of people in a limited circle. The real magic happens when you can broadcast their message to a larger crowd—especially those who are looking for a company like yours (your ideal clients) or who are already considering doing business with you (your prospects).
When you are able to broadcast your clients’ endorsements, you’re developing social proof. Social proof, a term coined by psychologist Robert Cialdini, is what people look for when they don’t know how to respond in a certain situation. To put it another way, it’s what will push your prospects over the edge if they’ve been on the fence about whether or not to do business with you.
1. Five-star reviews
Reviews are still a very strong form of social proof. If you can get your clients or prospects to give you a five-star review, you have achieved a very valuable goal. The more five-star reviews you have, the more likely those Googling your products or services are to choose YOU as their provider. Many of those who are trying to decide between a couple of different providers will also often turn to reviews to make their final decision. In these cases, the difference between a company with two five-star reviews and ten could make all the difference.
Testimonials are the next step up when it comes to social proof. A write-up that accompanies a 5-star review can be considered a testimonial, as can written narratives clients provide you upon request (or on their own). Video testimonials are even better, though those can be difficult to get unless you have a system of filming testimonials from satisfied clients.
How to ask
In a perfect world, all our happy clients would seek out ways to promote us by writing reviews and filming testimonial videos. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. In most cases, we need to ask, encourage, and incentivize them to do so. Having a system in place is crucial when it comes to this task. Whether you use software or you simply have a protocol for when and how to ask, you need to have a foolproof way to make the ask in a way that is a: consistent and b: effective.
No matter how you make the ask, always ensure you’re rewarding clients once they complete the review or testimonial whether that’s through a thank-you gift, a lunch, or just a heartfelt declaration of gratitude.
What to do with it
Once you have social proof, you have to get it in front of the right people. First and foremost, your testimonials should be on your website and social media platforms. You also need to optimize your Google profile so that 5-reviews are prominently featured. You can also include these in your newsletters, blogs, and any other correspondence that goes out to your prospects or ideal customers. Remember to always tag the client giving you a review or testimonial in your social media posts to give them a bit of extra publicity as well.
We’re getting close to the final step of the Customer Value Journey! In the next blog, we’ll talk about the pinnacle of success—Promote! Until then, if you have any questions about the first seven steps of the journey or if you’d like help with any of them, please reach out. Our team would love to help!