I recently attended my local Comic Con to get my geek on and have a great time with my family. We all enjoy our movies and tv shows and this was a great chance to get up close and personal with some of our favourite stars, ask them questions and get to know them a little more personally. But what also struck me was the overwhelming abundance of raving fans these talented men and women have. This reminded me that the same qualities that created these obsessive fans are the same traits and qualities that we must use in business to ensure our customers transition into becoming raving fans. So here are 3 key traits that every business should live by if they want to create ravings fans who will help propel your brand and presence.
- Listen to and Engage with Your Audience
One of the recent confessions from a very well-known actor was that for the vast majority of the time, they are unaware of their audience and their passions until they get a chance to speak to them and listen to their views. In a growing world of social media – this has become much easier now for the writers and actors to get an impression of audience reaction via mediums like Twitter and Facebook which can provide instant feedback, as well as suggestions for what the customers want to see.
For business owners this is no different. There is a plethora of communication channels that we can use to gauge our audience reaction to our products and services and truly show that we are listening to our customers and truly want their valuable feedback. Apart from social media where we can ask questions, gauge reactions and interact with our customers there are many other ways to engage with the audience.
Some great ways to do this is to touch base with your customer after a few days to ask how they are enjoying the product and do they have any questions. A follow up email after the purchase with a note thanking them for their business is also a great way to communicate. You can also ask the customer to fill in a quick survey of what they liked and ask for any ways that you can improve your business or interaction with your audience. Asking the audience to send in photos of themselves using the product or service for a fun or creative side can also work well. Customer testimonies via email or video are very engaging and help to create fantastic word of mouth advertising. The more ways you can find to interact with your audience and the more open and vulnerable you are prepared to be with your audience, the greater the connection with them.
- Always Be Improving, Developing and Changing
Every actor is always working on ways to improve their skills, add depth to their roles, and enhance their ability to read the scene and respond in the most appropriate ways to help create the scene. So too must we in business always be developing ourselves both in a personal and professional sense. Our products and services may be state of the art, but in a fast pace world where customers don’t just anticipate the next ‘upgrade’, they expect it – we must always be one step ahead, ensuring that we are always improving our products and services in order to stay relevant to our customers.
If your products are physical products, then it involves looking at ways to slightly improve or rebrand the product so that you stand out from your competitors. Let’s use a more difficult product to demonstrate – a shovel. It can be argued there are not many ways to improve a standard shovel but this just requires some creative thinking. Perhaps it means slightly changing the angle of the head of the shovel for greater penetrating ability. It may mean experimenting with the alloy of the metal to create a superior product. Or it could be changing the handle of the shovel to allow those with less strength to still use it effectively.
If your products are digital and not always tangible then it’s about being as up to date as possible and using best evidence practice and ensuring your product relates to the latest digital trends to entice and excite your customers. We see this all the time in the industry. A new coach will come out with the latest product to boost your business or improve your conversion rates when selling your products. Often this new product may not actually be anything greatly different to the previous 3 versions, but it will contain enough difference, looks totally different, or be written in a different way that will resonate with the audience and they will be jumping up and down asking him or her to take their money.
The point here is that regardless of the product or service you have, always look for new or different ways to improve, develop or change the product to ensure you are always relevant and up to date in the eyes of your ideal client.
- Excite and Delight Your Audience
An actors job is to entertain their audience. This is regardless of the genre. Perhaps the intention is to make the audience feel for the character. It may be to hate the character for all that they are. Or it may be to fall in love with the character and the possibilities of what they may bring. It doesn’t matter what the character purpose is, as long as it entertains. So too must we entertain, excite and delight our audience. This can be done regardless of what the product or service is if we follow some basic rules.
- Provide world class customer service. The customer is the most important part of your business. Therefore customer service should be your privilege, not something that is thought of as a burden. So ensure that you make the customer feel like they are the most important person to your business and they will reward you time and time again. Give above and beyond, provide speedy responses to questions and emails, offer free advice and become their trusted authority. Do this and they will return to you and bring others with them as well.
- Know your customers name and use it regularly. There is a saying that says “there is no sweeter sound to a person’s ear that the sound of their own name”. This is very true. Think about it, when someone uses your name and addresses you by name, it makes you feel that you matter and are important. So how do you think your customers feel when you remember their name. How about their wife’s name, their kids? Some of the most well-known business pride themselves on knowing their customers and engaging in their lives. So be willing to stretch yourself, use the customer’s name in greeting them, talking to them and wishing them well. It can make a world of difference.
- Give your customers the VIP treatment. By this I mean treat them better than anyone else. Give your customers first looks and priority with new products. Organise sneak peaks at the latest services that you are offering, and give them sample of up-coming products or ideas and ask for their valuable feedback. You could organised a closed door revealing of a new products or just create a product specifically for special repeat customers. By ensuring your customer feels special and valued, you strengthen the relationship between you, which allows for a greater chance for them to become your raving fans and tell the world about you. If you have ever been into a Tiffany & Co store you will know the treatment I mean. You are greeted by your own personal attendant who will see to all of your needs, including a private sitting area, food and drink and the chance to look at stock in your own time.
These are just a few ideas on ways to excite and delight your audience. There are many other ways that we do not have the time to touch on here.
Remember, your goal should always be to turn your customers into raving fans. They are your greatest promoters as well as business partners. Not only will they return again and again to you but they will bring others and create a continuous revenue stream for you into the future.