Insights

From customer to fans: A 4-steps guide

Customers are essentials to your organization's success, but fans are even better on a long-term perspective. Let's find out how you can benefit from your existing users and turn them into an active fan base in 4 steps.

October 20, 2020
By
Lauren Feille

When picturing a customer, you think about someone consuming your product once. But when you think about a fan, a whole other image comes up. You imagine someone deeply connected to your brand, which genuinely follows your organization's journey, connects with you and adores your brand. The question is, which one do you strive for?

If you picked the second option, let us guide you through our best practices with those four steps to grow your customer base into an active fanbase.

Create a long term relationship with an emotional connection.

One of the major steps, to begin with, is creating a strong bond with your customers. If you intend to transform them into engaged and active fans, you need to think deeper into what makes them favor your brand over another. Why would your users choose your platform instead of another? What makes them stay? What can you improve to turn this appreciation into devotion?

You can't expect to make a difference if you don't start by building an authentic, genuine relationship with your customers. Here are the main ways to get closer, engage, and connect with them:

  • Social media: 3,6 billion people are using at least one social media on any device. The accessible and daily aspect of those networks makes it a great way to create a long-term bond with your customers. It's a fantastic tool to increase brand awareness and strengthen the pre-built relationship with content sharing, contests, and storytelling.
  • Transparency: With information at the tip of everyone's finger, you need to ensure your processes are transparent and following your users' values. People appreciate knowing about the behind-the-scenes of their favorite brands. They affectionate the human side of businesses, and when they can trust the words of the organizations. This trust and reliability positively impact your relationship with the user.
  • Opinion sharing: Customers like to be involved in the decision process. Are you hesitating about a particular feature on your app? Ask your users. They will be the first affected, and will gladly give their opinion by answering a survey or questions. Their word is valuable, and by involving them, you are creating a closer connection with them and making them feel special.

Your uniqueness is your strength.

Don't settle for enough. Customers' behaviors are evolving, and people tend to have higher expectations regarding products and services. With many options on the market and such frequent exposure to offline and online advertising - fun fact: a study from 2007 showed we are exposed to 5,000 ads a day, and this number is believed to have doubled since then - it's only natural we, as customers, are becoming pickier toward what we are consuming.

With that in mind, make sure your differentiation strategy is on point, starting with your product, service, or app. Instead of delivering a well-functioning app only, make your app a place where people can meet others, where they can create and share insightful content, where they can learn, discover, and interact. Give them a reason to check in often, spark their curiosity and retain them with a unique journey. That's how you will stand out from the competition.

Bring your users together and foster a community of like-minded peers.

Going further into the point we just mentioned, you can level up your app's performance and entertain your users with a social experience. By social, we mean your app doesn't have to be enjoyed alone. You can transform it into a collective journey, a more delightful experience.

All app has the potential to be social if you add the right features to it.

By building your in-app community and enabling interactions between members, you give your platform another perspective and another reason for your users to check-in and return. Allow them to define themselves for a more personalized experience, boost engagement metrics by encouraging content-sharing and content creation, enable in-app discussions between like-minded peers, and offer an exciting space of discoveries to satisfy your user's curiosity.

Go beyond the sale and make the most of customer service.

According to a 2013 study by Dimensional Research for Zendesk, 42 percent of customers purchased more after enjoying an excellent customer service experience. The same study found 87 percent of customers share a satisfying service experience with their networks.

Customer service is crucial: a poor one can lead to missed sales, to a bad reputation that tarnishes your image, to a decrease in profits, all of which will ultimately affect your business negatively.

However, a pleasant customer service experience will significantly benefit your brand on multiple aspects: increases in sales and positive reviews, strengthening brand awareness, and improving brand loyalty.

If you want to go the extra mile to show gratitude towards your customers, you can reward them with exclusive post-purchase offers. This way, you emphasize how special they are and give them a good reason to return to your app.

Turning your customers into fans is a long but rewarding process. By making the most of your existing users, you'll benefit from a relationship based on genuine trust, appreciation, and support. Positively, fans will attract more fans, creating a virtuous cycle of brand awareness, brand loyalty, and increased profits. Ultimately, your fans are the ones who will lead your app to success, not your customers.

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