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Provide Social Currency to Your Customers

How Do You Provide Social Currency to Your Customers?

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Executive Vice President

Many years ago, I was working out at the Gym. I was running on a treadmill and exchanged niceties with the person beside me.

After the run, we both got down to lifting weights, and that’s when we started conversing. The conversation veered from generics to specifics. We started speaking about lifestyle and how Ayurveda helps with it.

I have a friend who is an Ayurvedic doctor, and conversations with him allowed me to make impactful lifestyle changes. I shared some of those with this person at the Gym.

Eventually, it led me to introduce him to this doctor, and he has been consulting this doctor for the past six years. 

Why Did I Refer the Doctor?

  • I found him knowledgeable, skilled, and competent in what he does
  • I have experienced positive health outcomes and witnessed significant improvements in my condition as a result of the doctor’s treatment
  • He demonstrated genuine care toward my health
  • He always involved me in decision-making, where I felt in control of my health.

Now, hear this out.

This one again happened at the Gym. A couple of Air conditioners at the Gym conked off, and they called a service person using an App.

The service person turned up but couldn’t properly service the Aircon. I referred the guy who services the Aircon at home and in my office.

The Gym called him, and he sorted out their issues. When I went to the Gym later, the instructor thanked me for referring a professional to him.

Why Did I Refer Him?

  • I had positive experiences with this service person when it came to Air conditioners and refrigerators
  • I have been using his services for the past eight years, and never has he failed me
  • He is a thorough professional and does his job on time every time

There are many such examples where I have referred someone I know, and I have received references from many of my friends for various needs of mine.

Why Do Human Beings Do This?

People typically tend to share positive and negative experiences with others, especially when their family and friends need help.

Recommending someone helps enhance your social capital by showcasing your connections and the quality of your network. It can reflect positively on you as someone who knows reliable and competent individuals.

The experiences are the social currency that you share with your networks.

Do check our article on: Broken Customer Experience

How Do You, as a Brand, Provide That Social Currency to Your Customers?

Exceptional product or service is the foundation for creating social currency. Your product or service will have to exceed the expectations of the customers. Focus on delivering outstanding quality, unique features, and exceptional experiences. Only then would they talk about your brand positively and refer others.

Once you tick the basics of exceptional products and service, you can use some of what these brands consistently do to provide social currency to their customers.

  • Encourage customers to share their experiences and reviews through testimonials, social media posts, online reviews, and case studies. Highlight positive user-generated content to showcase real-life examples of customer satisfaction.
    • Brands like GoPro, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks encouraged customers to create and share content featuring their products. These brands tap into the power of social sharing and turn customers into brand ambassadors.
  • Brands like Adidas and Tesla offer exclusive access or sneak peeks at upcoming product launches to their loyal customers. By granting behind-the-scenes previews, they make customers feel special and privileged. Customers will likely share these exclusive experiences with their network, generating positive word-of-mouth and influencing others to engage with the brand.
  • Brands like Dropbox and Airbnb offer referral programs where customers are rewarded for referring their friends or network to use their brand’s services. Providing incentives motivates customers to share their positive experiences and actively refer others.
  • Have you ever considered sending handwritten thank-you notes, free upgrades, or personalized gifts? Brands like Amazon and Zappos occasionally surprise customers with unexpected gestures. These create positive emotional connections and memorable experiences.
  • Align yourself with social causes and initiatives. Brands like Patagonia and Toms Shoes do this and tap into customers’ values and beliefs. Customers who resonate with the brand’s mission and values are motivated to share their positive customer experiences and support the cause. This would influence their network to engage with the brand and its social initiatives.

These are real-life examples of how brands provide social currency to their existing customers and make them their ambassadors.

By engaging customers and giving them something valuable to share, brands inspire positive word-of-mouth referrals and strengthen their relationships with existing and potential customers.

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