October 17 2017
We’ve discussed the importance of thinking ahead to your customer’s next pain point in order to keep them engaged with your brand.
We talked a lot about your customer’s journey to success, and the things you can do along the way to help them reach their goal with relative ease.
Now, we’re getting into what you can do after your customer has reached their own personal finish line in order to:
- Keep them engaged with your brand
- Continue providing value to them
- Continue receiving value from them
Let’s dive right in.
3 Ways to Keep Successful Customers Engaged with Your Brand
Watching one of your customers finally achieve their desired goal can be a bittersweet moment.
On the one hand, you’ve played an integral role in helping them overcome a major obstacle in their life. You’ve also proven your worth as a service provider: your customer paid you for your assistance, and you were able to deliver what you promised.
On the other hand, your successful customer has presumably gotten everything they need out of your product or service. There’s a pretty good chance that your brand won’t stay top of mind for much longer.
Unless you act quickly.
Once your customers found success with one of your products or services, there are a few things you can do to further your relationship with them, such as:
- Offering upgraded or expanded products/services
- Soliciting reviews and referrals
- Showcasing your customers’ successes
What else do you have to offer your successful customers?
Upselling and Cross-Selling to Successful Customers
Upselling and cross-selling is an incredibly effective way of increasing per-customer ROI, as well as your customers’ LTV. In fact, existing customers are 50% more likely to try out new products than new customers. Additionally, on average, existing customers spend 31% more than newbies.
Upselling and cross-selling usually refers to the act of promoting enhanced or supplemental services right around the point of sale (or shortly thereafter).
But these tactics can also be effective if implemented once a customer reaches a certain personal milestone.
Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich who has created numerous online courses focused on the various aspects of entrepreneurship, knows that his successful students will likely benefit from his other offerings. Once they complete a course, they’ll receive an email like this one:
Here, Sethi provides customers with an intrinsic reward for successfully completing one of his courses – and plants a seed in the customer’s mind that Sethi has more he can offer.
This is more an example of a cross-sell, but it’s also possible to upsell to customers after certain milestones, too. For example, after a customer has subscribed to your baseline service for a few months, you could upgrade their subscription at a discounted rate.
Another thing to consider is the fact that you can gain additional insight into your customers’ needs even if they decline your upsell/cross-sell offering. Using the example from above, if most customers who utilize your “basic” offer don’t show interest in upgrading their service, look into the upgraded features they find extraneous – and tailor your upgraded services accordingly.
Soliciting Referrals and Reviews
While not an absolute certainty, there’s a good chance that customers who value your products or services will have great things to say about your brand as a whole.
There’s a huge discrepancy between the amount of customers who hypothetically share their positive experiences and those who actually do so. This discrepancy is so wide that you don’t want to leave it up to chance; you need to actively engage your satisfied customers if you want them to spread the good word about your services.
A few notes on the importance of generating referrals and positive reviews:
- Referred customers are four times more likely to make a purchase than non-referred customers
- Referred customers are worth 16% more in terms of LTV than non-referred customers
- More than 85% of consumers read and trust online reviews to determine the quality of a business
- Positive word-of-mouth from peers influences consumers’ purchasing decisions more than any other factor
We’ve talked about the importance of cultivating evangelism among your satisfied customers before.
Creating brand evangelists has two main benefits:
- You’re able to bring in new customers at a fraction of your typical cost of acquisition
- You’re able to keep successful customers engaged with your brand in a way that transcends the basic supplier-consumer relationship
Let’s focus on the latter.
As we mentioned earlier, once a customer has gotten what they want from your company, they really don’t have much reason to stick around. Realistically, that’s how business relationships typically work: you pay for a service→you receive the service→you go on your merry way.
But, from the perspective of your company, this really means that you’ve lost a customer who may or may not ever decide to return – even if there comes a time in the future when they’re in need of your services once more (i.e., they might end up choosing a different brand).
By getting your satisfied and successful customers to actively take part in referring your brand – whether directly or by submitting product/service reviews – you add another touchpoint to the relationship, increasing the likelihood of your brand coming to mind the next time they’re in need of assistance.
Even if a customer has truly gotten all there is to get out of your services, you can still keep them engaged by inviting them to your ambassador program.
For example, popular language-learning service Duolingo’s Ambassador Program offers the following benefits:
The people at Duolingo know their most active users’ main goal is not just to learn a new language, but to change the world by doing so. Through the company’s Ambassador Program, its most successful customers are able to go beyond the company’s initial offering and immerse themselves in Duolingo’s mission. On Duolingo’s side, ambassadors help spread the good word about the company’s ability to help people learn a new language.
Showcasing Customer Success
You can also leverage your successful customers’ stories in ways that simultaneously showcases your brand’s ability to help them achieve their goals.
Consider the following content formats:
- Case Studies are in-depth articles that focus on a specific aspect of your service and how an individual customer benefitted from this aspect. Case studies are used more in B2B companies, and are focused on the growth of specific data points (such as how a marketing agency helped a client-company increase their acquisition rate by 10%).
- Success Stories are the “B2C version” of case studies. They provide an overview of a customer’s experience with a brand from start to finish, detailing milestones the customer reached along their journey, as well as the more personal, emotional growth that occurred throughout the process.
- Interviews are Q&A sessions between a representative of a company and a successful customer of said company. Interviews are similar to success stories in that they touch on multiple aspects of the customer’s journey with the company, but are simply written out in question-and-answer format rather than as a “story” or article.
A success story from one of Salesforce’s satisfied clients.
By taking the time to showcase your customer’s successes, you make it clear to prospective customers that you truly care about them and want to help them grow. This, in turn, will (hopefully) make customers who are ready to make a purchase decide to go with your brand over a competitor’s.
These pieces of content showcase real people, with real problems, who were able to overcome various obstacles to achieve their goals. For the same reason that consumers trust recommendations and reviews from others just like them, they also trust success stories in which a person just like them comes away looking like a hero.
Creating case studies and success stories provides you another platform to showcase the benefits of engaging with your brand. In each of these formats, your customer is the star of the show – but your company plays the supporting role along the way. That being said, when beginning the process of creating these pieces, you can tailor the focus toward specific aspects of your service you’d like to showcase.
Just make sure not to appear too “commercial-y.” A phony approach to such content will defeat the purpose of creating it in the first place.
Lastly, case studies, success stories, and interviews benefit your company because they’re another point of contact for prospective customers. You can presented these stories via text, audio, or video, adding variety to your current content offerings. Given two companies that are otherwise equal, it’s safe to say most customers will flock to the one that offers an additional piece of relatable content to digest.
The takeaway here
Your successful customers can be a huge asset to your company – regardless of whether they, themselves, end up making future purchases or not.
But these individuals aren’t extremely likely to come back to your company on their own volition. It’s up to you to keep the relationship moving forward. Done correctly, you can continue to provide value to your most satisfied customers well past their last purchase – and continue to receive value from them in return.