Innovation

Turning Customers Into Brand Evangelists

I ran into my favorite barista recently. She greeted me the way she always does, with a big hug.

If you know my story about “pouring happiness,” you also know that the #LilyEffect is a mindset and a practical method anyone can embrace to build relationships that move beyond a transaction to something much more valuable.

Are you invested in creating more meaningful relationships with customers? It might pay to take a page from this playbook:

VIDEO: Pouring Happiness

Busy is the new fine. Your customers are overwhelmed, time-poor and expect you to deliver more value, consistently.

Everyone is challenged by the idea of improving and advancing customer relationships. How do you make relationships more valuable?

Lily turned one of the most transactional business-to-customer relationships (buying a cup of coffee) into a relationship of value. Do you think I’d buy coffee at the MSP airport anywhere else?  No shot! Perhaps more importantly, how many people do you think I’ve told about the #LilyEffect?  I am an evangelist! Consider, customers routinely fall into one of three categories:

Satisfied Customers: These customers are doing business with you today. They may even really like doing business with you, but they aren’t committed or emotionally invested in the partnership. They will shop on price and would feel just fine about doing business with the competition. The probability they will eventually leave is high.

Loyal Customers: These customers value the partnership and place a high amount of trust and confidence in the relationship. They are committed and the probability they are eventually going to leave is low. There is an opportunity to turn these loyal customers into Brand Evangelists.

Brand Evangelists: These customers are invested in you and want to help you succeed. They want to share your story, spread the word about your brand and help drive referral business.  They elevate your credibility. Their experience defines your value proposition in a way that matters to prospective customers.

The secret is, Lily doesn’t see herself simply serving coffee. She recognizes an opportunity to make a more significant human connection and transform the transaction. We each have that same opportunity for impact. Every customer touch point is a moment of truth where you can add value and advance a relationship. It’s worth considering how.

A recent Gartner survey on the role of marketing in customer experience found that, in 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago.

Are you ready?