At WooConf yesterday, CEO of WP Engine Heather Brunner drew a line in the sand stating that a successful ecommerce company will put the customer at the center of their digital strategy. She emphasized that “commerce is not just about content and conversions, it’s also about storytelling.”
Brunner recommended that on the pathway to customer advocacy, you must first create an individualized, genuine relationship with your customers. To reach advocacy, customers must go through these three stages first: credibility, respect, and trust.
Brunner recommends that the first step to building brand advocacy is to establish credibility with your customers. This can be achieved by creating a compelling value proposition or by engaging in a meaningful way through a social presence or your other touchpoints.
Respect is achieved after credibility is established. “Frictionless help and support to guide you along the way” will help gain your customers’ respect, Brunner said. Invite your customers to subscribe. From there, tailor engaging and relevant content to them. “They are grateful for the interaction, it helps them build respect,” She said.
Placing your trust in a company is something that is earned. It comes from built respect. To build trust, give your customers a more customized experience. You can also share ideas about products to add even more value to the relationship. It is an “earned opportunity to be curious,” Brunner said.
Reaching this stage is about building a fan base. “Make it easy and fun for users to share experiences with your brand,” Brunner advised. Identify your super fans and treat them like gold. Make them feel special for being your fan and you will be able to put them to work for you.
“Make your customer experience strategy your digital strategy,” Brunner said. Invest in individualized data on your customers to create a personalized experience. Experiment with different techniques to engage and learn from them, and act with integrity across all touchpoints. “The best brands will put their customers first, focus on the customer journey, and be successful at turning them into fans.”