For many years now I have been watching the change going on with customers – both good and bad. The changes in the past 5 years have eclipsed anything we have seen for the previous 20+ and the trend is continuing. Today, the CUSTOMER IS IN CHARGE and now they are “armed with a microphone, called SOCIAL MEDIA.
Even when my brother, Gary, and I wrote our book on how companies can build a “business process” around the customer experience, the world was changing. At the same time, another great book came out (I highly recommend reading) that was also well ahead of its time, “The Experience Economy“, by Pine and Gilmore. They introduced the simple, and now standard concept that the only way most companies will be able to differentiate themselves is through the experience they offer their customers – how true that is today. Just as a point of reference, in my view, “Customers” is a generic term for the End Customer, Employees, Partners, Suppliers, etc. Anyone that has an interaction with your company should be viewed as a customer.
So here is where everything CHANGED. Social Media came into the picture and gave everyone the “tools” to create Word-of-Mouth exponentially! The “customers” voice is now highly leveraged and when they speak, thousands are listening. Control has been taken over by the customer. I won’t belabor the point that traditional is all but buried and gone in most cases so if you are still hanging on to that coveted direct mail piece or newspaper advertisement, get over it and move on. The return is dropping daily while the costs keep rising – not a good business model. We now have new, and more powerful, ways to communicate, connect with customers, share information, differentiate ourselves, market, interact, engage, and spread word-of-mouth.
Today, the HOLY GRAIL is ADVOCACY. The bottom line is simple, if you have a farm of advocates out there “proactively” singing your praises, then you will WIN. It’s that simple.
There are two primary questions companies are now starting to ask…
- Who are my ADVOCATES?
- How do I get more of them?
This blog will help you get the answers to both these questions. THE NEW ADVOCATE is totally different than anything we have ever experienced. They are smart, they are connected like never before, they read many sources to get the “real story”, they engage with others, they expect a superior experience, and they talk about it freely and on multiple “channels” through social media. With all this going on, how can you possibly control this situation and make sure they are getting the right story? This is the question being asked today.
But what you do have is the power to SHARE, HELP, EDUCATE, and ENGAGE with your audience in a way where they can see your Authenticity better than ever before. You can now show them who you really are and what you represent and if this works for them, their LOYALTY will be stronger than ever before and you have a chance of them becoming your ADVOCATE and proactively spreading it through their word-of-mouth channels. This is THE NEW ADVOCATE…
I hope you find value and insights from these stories, experiences, and recommendations on create more Advocacy among your audience and how to build your business stronger than it has ever been. That is my goal and my passion. Please let me know what you think, your ideas, suggestions, and of course feel free to add your comments to any post you like. I know this is a new world, but if we all share our experiences and learnings, we can move ahead faster and be more customer focused. At the end of the day, that will always win out!
Thank you for listening and sharing…