Deeto's Guide to Activating Your Customer Base

You probably measure customer activation in terms of how many people successfully complete the onboarding process
Andrew Parker
1 Apr

You probably measure customer activation in terms of how many people successfully complete the onboarding process or reach a certain level of engagement.

We aren't saying you shouldn't know your time to value or adoption rates. But truth is, that's a tiny step in the grand scheme of things.

Long term, you need customers who propel your business forward. People who...

  • Stick with you
  • Expand their product/service use
  • Advocate for your brand
  • Refer others
  • Test new products and features
  • Speak at webinars and events

In actuality, "activating" your customers is more about engaging them over time and solidifying a relationship. Jumping through hoops during onboarding is definitely the first step, but it's more about creating an experience that encourages long-term loyalty.

Let's dive into what it takes to accomplish that.

1. Start with a streamlined onboarding process.

You can't even think about advocacy or expansion if you can't retain your customer base. And retention starts with onboarding.

The level of involvement you'll need in customer onboarding largely depends on the market you're selling into. Enterprise customers will, of course, need a lot more handholding than SMBs that deploy your solution only across a small team.

The basics:

  • Create an onboarding checklist that visually maps out the process.
  • Use videos, screenshots, and how-to's to make it easy for customers to understand.
  • Offer templates or default settings, so getting started is painless for customers.
  • Create in-app guidance to welcome customers, highlight key features, and prompt them to take action.

86% of customers say they're more likely to stay loyal to a business that offers educational onboarding content. And before you engage customers in other facets of your business, like advocacy and testing, you have to get them excited about and continuously using your product.

2. Invite all your customers to join your community.

Most companies get it wrong when it comes to choosing customers for customer activation programs. They pick a small group with whom they already have personal relationships or who show the highest CLV or engagement levels.

If you do this, you're leaving out tons of customers who would otherwise participate and grow their relationships with your brand.

  • 91% of customers are willing to give you a referral.
  • Two-thirds would gladly leave a positive review.
  • Almost all of them would give you private feedback on how to improve your product.
  • More than you think would test new products and features.

Very few (if any) will participate in all of these activities. And some of your best participants won't be who you expect. That's why you need to invite everyone to join you and let each of them choose how they contribute.

3. Make the advocacy process seamless for all customers.

If you're having trouble getting customers to participate at scale, 99% chance "you're making it too hard" is the reason.

If you want to turn customers into brand advocates, your program needs three things:

  • Easy sign-up. If your users can't sign up and select how they'd like to participate through a simple, clickable interface, you've lost them. You need a one-shot process that's as simple as posting on TikTok.
  • Personalized engagement with no intermediary. A huge reason why customer marketing struggles to scale is the constant need for someone from your CS team to manage it. Remove the intermediary with a self-service program that guides and motivates customers and gives them contribution opportunities based on their preferences.
  • Instant gratification. The average attention span is 8.25 seconds. If you're forcing customers to wait days or weeks for a response, they've lost interest. They should be able to track their progress, see how they compare to others, and get cash rewards within the same session.

This sounds intimidating, but it's actually pretty easy to set up. With Deeto, customers onboard themselves and choose their contribution preferences. From there, they’re able to create a variety of content — quotes, reviews, testimonials, and even case studies — with the help of AI. And they can track their contributions’ impact and receive corresponding rewards, all in one place.

4. Engage customers through your marketing collateral.

Sure, they'll be happy to write reviews, provide reference calls, and test new products. But you can't always ask for favors.

While advocacy and providing hands-on feedback are the best ways to create a highly engaged customer base, you also have to communicate with them in ways that add value to them.

  • Your customer newsletter (bonus if you create a separate monthly one for advocates)
  • A community forum where customers can connect with other users, ask questions, and get exclusive updates
  • Exclusive access to new products, beta programs, and discounts
  • Webinars and events where customers can learn from your team and influence product development

You should also involve them in some of your marketing campaigns through user-generated content.  When customers talk about or showcase their experience with your product, using it in your social media and web content will reinforce their relationship with your brand.

5. Use customer activation to fuel new customer acquisition.

Practically every lead in your pipeline will want to see some form of social proof before signing the dotted line. Your customers can help you here in real time through reference calls, but your reps can also use content like case studies, reviews, and user-generated videos in their sales conversations. With smart matching, they’ll see 

Your customers can help you here in real time through reference calls, but your reps can also use case studies, reviews, and user-generated videos in their sales conversations. With Deeto's smart matching feature, they’ll automatically see the most relevant content based on a lead's profile, interests, and stage in the buyer's journey.

You can run your whole customer activation program with Deeto. Request a demo to see how.