How to Turn Happy Customers Into Advocates

18 Nov, 2022

Jesus Malo

There’s no better feeling than positive feedback for your business. When a customer leaves a great review or emails to tell you how much they love the product, it’s a great morale boost for the entire team–but does that happiness actually translate into more sales? 

Customer satisfaction is a great starting point, but it’s not enough to turn someone into an advocate for your business. If you want more customers to rave about your product on social media, tell their friends and family, and refer you to new prospects, that requires digging a little deeper.

Why “I love your product!” might not be the endorsement you think it is

There’s a lot more customer success than five-star reviews. Just because a customer hasn’t complained or reached out for support doesn’t mean they’ll continue to use your product long-term.

This is the difference between happy customers and successful ones. Happy customers like your product; successful customers can demonstrate the ROI. Happiness is subjective; success is objective. There may or may not be an overlap between these two groups.

How to Turn Happy Customers Into Advocates

How to tell the difference between happy and successful customers 

If you’re struggling to determine which category a customer falls into, ask yourself if their experience would make a strong case study. If you have hard facts to back up each claim, then the customer is successful. 

Another differentiator is that happy customers rarely engage with your support team; they’re content to let things lie. Successful customers, on the other hand, might go tinkering inside your platform, break things, and then submit a request for help. 

This doesn’t mean they’re not satisfied with the product. It means they’re actively looking for ways to get their money’s worth, and that’s a good thing because it pushes you to improve, add new features, fix bugs, and streamline your support system.

These customers are in it for the long haul, and they’re dedicated to making your product work for their business. And a growing number of successful customers is a good indicator you’re on the path to product-market fit.

The dollar value of customer experience

According to a study from the Harvard Business Review, a positive past experience with a brand leads customers to spend 140% more than those who had a poor experience.

For subscription-based businesses, the numbers were even more significant: a member who reports a poor customer experience had only a 43% chance of remaining a member a year later. In contrast, those with a positive experience had a 74% chance of continuing their subscription. This group of “happy” customers was likely to remain members for another six years.

Ideally, you won’t have to choose between happy and successful customers–you’ll have both. To maximize your growth, focus on providing a great customer experience and delivering tangible results. 

Why successful customers are the key to growth

The bottom line is happiness alone doesn’t translate into revenue growth. Happy customers buy your product once and move on; successful customers stay. They’re loyal to your brand, and that’s what leads to them becoming an advocate. 

These are the people who will renew their contracts, recommend you to friends, and buy whatever new product you release. Not only do these customers have a higher lifetime value, but they also become outspoken advocates for your company.  

So let’s say you already have plenty of happy customers. How can you turn them into revenue-boosting advocates? There are three main avenues:

1. Get feedback

Any great salesperson knows the value of getting out and talking to your customers, which only becomes more critical from a customer success perspective. 

Find out what your most successful customers have in common. What do they love most about your product or service? Which features and benefits have produced the best results? Double down on what’s working well and improve or eliminate what isn’t.

Another important area to get feedback on is your buyer’s decision-making process. What were the deciding factors for choosing your company over competitors? What about your solution made it uniquely compelling? These responses will help you craft stronger messaging for new prospects.

2. Qualify ruthlessly

Not all customers are created equal. In the early stages of business, most founders are happy to take any sales that come their way, regardless of whether the prospect is a good fit. 

As you scale, it becomes more and more important to get clear on your ideal customer profile (ICP)–otherwise, your sales team will waste time selling to the wrong people. Honing in on your ideal customer will help you develop a clear list of lead qualification criteria. 

From that list of criteria, you can generate a new list of prospects who are likely to become successful customers and craft a sales strategy to reach those people, qualify them, and convert them into customers.

If you get stuck, reach out to our coaching team, and we can help you through this process from start to finish.

3. Make it easy to become an advocate

Beyond providing a great experience and delivering valuable results, you can’t expect customers to become advocates on their own. A few people may take the initiative to give word-of-mouth referrals, but the vast majority will need some prompting.

That’s why it’s critical to ask your best customers for referrals. Ask if they’d be open to being featured in a case study (you can position it as free exposure for their business), or if they’d mind speaking to a new prospect about their experience.

The key thing to remember is that you can’t expect customers to become advocates on their own–so make it easy for them. Build systems, automate the referral process, and ask for feedback as frequently as possible. 

Conclusion 

Creating brand advocates takes time. Like anything in business, it’s a constant iteration. Continue to ask for feedback, refine your ICP, and streamline your systems. All of the hard work will pay off when you have a steady stream of loyal customers who can’t wait to refer you.

In this ebook, We will walk you through the key elements of a successful B2B sales funnel, how to build your funnel step-by-step, and how to choose the best model to fuel your growth.

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