Whether we call them raving fans, brand advocates or influencers, having those ultra-satisfied customers should be an important part of your marketing.

We’ve all learned these days to take what companies say about themselves with a grain of salt. That’s why customer advocates are so important for delivering that message for us. Nielsen research shows that more than 90 percent of consumers trust word-of-mouth marketing. Building a successful advocate marketing program takes plenty of work and planning, but this is a quick crash course.

Have satisfied customers

For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to assume that you’re doing a good job with your projects and have happy clients.  If not, you might as well stop reading here and address that serious threat to your business. Marketing won’t make up for lousy service or quality of work.

Identify your “raving fans”

Whether doing it yourself or outsourcing to another company like GuildQuality, you should be collecting post-project surveys to measure customer satisfaction. If you struggle to get responses, it’s worth considering incentives for filling out the surveys. But be careful in how you position it – you want to make clear the incentive is for filling out the evaluation, not for a good result.

Collect and read those results and your best potential brand advocates will become pretty apparent. Also look at your social media to see who has nice things to say about you.

Make it easy

Some customers are so excited they’re going to share their story – and that’s great. But most customers will need to be encouraged. Following up with clients after their project is not only good customer service policy, it is an opportunity to ask for their feedback. Encourage, via email and social media posts, those past clients to leave reviews at various online sites.

Turn to them for content

When we talk about content this can take several forms.

Provide links to your social media and ask them to tag you if they are posting photos or updates on their projects. One great way to encourage that is a contest of some sort, such as “Share Your New Exterior” on social media. If you have a special promotion going on or are tying into an event, like the Parade of Homes, provide a hashtag.

We work with our remodeler clients to create plenty of content around their beautiful projects. But when we can get a chance to talk to their clients for those articles, that’s even better. It’s one thing to talk about how you transformed a home, but incredibly powerful to have the client share that same information.

Spend time talking to your best customers and find out what they are concerned about. That can provide great fodder for your blog or social media.

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