Have you ever bought a product so good you called up your best friend and convinced him to buy? If you have, congratulations, you have become a customer advocate for that brand!

Customer advocacy is when your customer reaches the optimal stage of faith, belief and trust in your brand. Where instead of selling or promoting the merits of your own brand, your customers do it for you.

Here are 5 things you can start doing now to foster engagement, encourage advocacy and turn your existing customers into unpaid advertisements for your brand.

1. Check your mood.

When your customer picks up the phone to call or walks into your office or showroom, how are they received? Every customer interaction matter. Whether you are making or taking a call at 11 am or 3:30 pm, the energy needs to be consistent. Communication – whether written, in person or across the printed or digital – should express an openness, enthusiasm and appreciation for your audience.

2. Communicate future benefits.

Human view of the future tends to be positive. Frequently more positive than reality. This is something that propels us forward and keeps us happy. Creating a positive future association between your brand, product or service and your customer is a way to leverage this process. Attach positive emotion to your brand experience.

3. Pay attention to details.

Consistency and thoughtful touches over time accumulate to create an impression for your customers that is brag-worthy. Do you offer something that makes a difference? Is the digital experience or face-to-face interaction personalised and pleasant? Don’t underestimate the value of an unexpected ‘extra.’ Discounts, exclusive events or special access, aren’t these things you would brag about if you were in the shoes of your clients and given those?

4. Milestone Marketing

Celebrating your relationship with your customers is a sure way to keep them happy. ‘Milestones’ can be personal, like their birthday; occasional, like Father’s Day or Christmas; or they can relate to your business, such as spend levels or celebrating a goal of some sort. The thinking here is a sense of value and unexpected surprise. If you were remembered and celebrated by a company you’ve been buying from after three years, for example, you might think to mention this to a friend.

5. Discuss it

Coupled with ‘all the little things’, perhaps it’s time to sit down with your team and talk about what makes the experience of your brand great. Keep doing these things! But remember to ask yourself – what else could you be doing to make it greater? It’s these touches of excellence that take you beyond the ordinary and give people great things to say about your brand.

Strive to be different. Do beyond what everyone else is doing. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and do to them what you would like done to you. Implementing some of these ideas into your business strategies can help you maximise your greatest asset, keep them happy and at the same time win a bigger audience for your brand.