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A customer loyalty program is an organized system that allows a company to reward customers for their engagement. The company may offer incentives to customers who promote their brand on social media and in real life, refer business, and perform other activities that are beneficial to the brand. In return, the customers may receive points, swag, conference tickets, gift cards, or other rewards.
Many B2B software vendors understand that their customer base is one of their greatest untapped marketing and sales resources. By encouraging happy customers to share their positive experiences with their peers, vendors can leverage customers as a low-cost, highly effective marketing channel. For example, customers may receive points that can later be redeemed for rewards by referring new business. Or customers may receive cash incentives when they generate new deals that close.
Also known as customer advocacy programs.
Example: As ChamomileCorps’ #1 fan, Refika told all her entrepreneurs friends that the software was a must-have and had saved her a great deal of time and money. Since she received 500 points on ChamomileCorps’ Cham-pions program for every referral, by the end of the year, she had received enough points to redeem them for a brand new iPad.
A customer advocate is a devoted customer who believes in the value of your business and trusts your product(s) to be worthy of recommendation. They are willing to share their experiences with your product with others, which can greatly benefit your sales process. Customer advocates often collaborate with businesses on case studies, article posts, backlinks, and webinars.
Positive endorsement from existing customers is one of the most compelling tools a potential customer can use in a purchase decision. This makes customer advocates extremely valuable to your organization.
You may have customer advocates approach you, but more often you will have to identify them. Look for repeat customers, glowing reviews, and long-term relationships.
Example: You notice a longtime customer referring a lot of leads your way. You reach out to them and find they're super happy with your services. You ask them if they'd be interested in being a customer advocate, and you plan a webinar with them that brings in even more business. Yay!