You’ve made a customer extremely happy with their purchase and exceeded their expectations. They’re smiling, shaking your hand, and thankful that you earned their business. They show all of the signs of being a potential brand ambassador. Now, how do you actually convert them from happy customer to brand ambassador?
We’ve already established that it’s important. Now go for the post. Your goal is to turn this happy customer into someone willing to advocate for you online. It’s not about getting a review. Those are easy. Reputation management on review sites is an important activity, but save those conversations for those who aren’t going to post about your on their social profiles. Getting an endorsement on Facebook is much more useful than getting a review on Yelp (unless your Yelp score is poor, in which case you probably want to get that bumped up first).
To get someone to post about you on social media, there are two effective methods to try.
Give Them an Incentive
This is the easiest way. It’s also slightly less fruitful because they must divulge in their post that they received compensation. That’s okay. If done right, even divulging the “payment” can be turned into a positive thing.
First and foremost, don’t go straight for the close. Just like with any sales process, you have to sell them on the idea. This requires a little setup first. Try to catch them when they’re really happy. After they’ve just given your store a compliment is ideal. Then, ask them about their social media presence.
Here’s an example of a conversation:
- Customer - “This has been the easiest car-buying experience I’ve ever had.”
- Salesperson – “Thank you for saying so. We do business differently here because we want our customers to come back to us and recommend us to all their friends and family.”
- Customer – “Yep, I’d definitely recommend you to my friends.”
- Salesperson – “Are you on Facebook?”
- Customer – “Of course.”
- Salesperson – “Because we value our customers’ recommendations, we give them their first oil change for free when they post about their experience on Facebook.”
- Customer – “That sounds good. I’ll post when I get home.”
- Salesperson – “If you want to do it from your phone right now I can walk you through it. To give you the oil change, it has to be worded a certain way.”
- Customer - “Okay. Let’s do it.”
The wording should be something like this: “I just had a great experience buying my new car at ABC Motors. They even gave me my first oil change for free just for posting this.”
That’s it. Of course, it’s not always that smooth of a conversation, but remember that even a handful of people per month can make an impact on future sales.
Give Them a Valid Reason
Similar to the incentive, the valid reason approach can be almost as effective. Done well, it can be even more effective because you’re asking for real endorsement without anything attached.
Use the talk track above but replace the oil change dialogue with something like this:
- Salesperson – “One of the ways I’m judged on whether I’m delivering a great customer experience is by getting mention on Facebook. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d appreciate if you’d write something about us on Facebook through your smartphone while we wait for your car to get cleaned up.”
From there, it doesn’t matter how they post it. They aren’t required to divulge anything and we’ve seen that when customers are given complete freedom to advocate for you how they want, they’ll do a better job at it.
But that’s not all…
Getting a Facebook post is amazing. Unlike review sites, it exposes your brand and the experience you deliver to people through a trusted peer. It’s human nature to trust the advice of people we know more than strangers on review sites. These types of public endorsements show “skin in the game” as we’ve mentioned in previous articles. Review sites are made fine, but they aren’t broadcasting the message to the right people the way a Facebook endorsement works.
This is all great, but a true ambassador won’t stop there. This is where we get into the real ways that happy customers become the brand ambassadors that we need. We’ll discuss all of that in the next post in this series.