When thinking about the many ways to get your customers to love your brand, it is tempting to become so engulfed in the neuroscience involved in finding your customer’s algorithms when it comes to branding and marketing your business that you forget the basic building blocks of developing real relationships with your customers in your business. The science behind building your brand is a necessary skill yet all the prescriptive science in the world can neither amount to nor replace the value in fostering a solid relationship of trust and respect between you and your customer. The science of branding will help you to acquire new customers, but it takes more than science and gimmicks to get your customers to stay with your brand. Although your brand may not always directly reflect your character, know that your character will always directly impact your brand!
Here are some tips on the basics of relationship building to ensure your customers will continue showing you love throughout the years!
We have found that the key to your customers loving your brand are found in the simplicity of LOVE itself. The simple truths of LOVE are usually overlooked in science and yet have stood the test of time as consistent, durable and reliable. Inscribed in a historic letter written in the second century, we find realities that are more powerful than any scientific maxim and more weightier than any artistic adage known to man. Below are several ways your customers can easily fall in love with your brand as described in the most reliable book of truth known to man!
BE PATIENT AND KIND…
Can you imagine a time when you worked what seemed like an entire year filled with 60-hour work weeks and you were still eons away from reaching your goals or quotas? You were ending the longest season of the year and all you could dream about was kick starting your week-long holiday vacation by making up the sleep deficit that you acquired over the year. For some of you, this scenario probably wasn’t too long ago. For others, maybe that’s how you feel right now. You have an insatiable expectation for rest that only a heavy dose of sleep can satisfy! At that time all you could think about was accomplishing the one last goal ahead of you (sleep) and nothing was going to get in your way of it. However, the only problem was that when you got home you were met with a never-ending list of things to do with your family for your ENTIRE vacation week. Instead of taking a moment to control your frustration, you (like many others) most likely relented to retaliation and in the heat of that moment, began to view your family as your enemy and the antagonist of all rest. It is really amazing how impatient and unkind we become when our expectations are met with the unexpected.
Using this same scope of perspective, it is easy to see how the pressures of quotas, deadlines, goals and even the responsibilities that come with business growth can cause you to forget that the customer is on your side. When you have been dealt a measure of chaos and challenge, whether its a boardroom meeting or a bathroom cleaning, never allow one temporary moment of frustration to become a permanent record of damage to your brand. We all have been there at some point or another but it is an oxymoron to be a major in marketing while being a minor in customer service. Don’t let a great customer get away by not minding (and reminding) your manners. Always be patient and always be kind to your customers and team no matter what the situation is: it will pay forward adding value to your brand as it pays off adding value your bottom line!
BE TRUSTWORTHY AND PROTECTIVE...
Just like a personal relationship requires trust and security in order for it to be strong and lasting, your customers deserve your brand of integrity and guaranteed quality. You cannot just go through the motions of a faithful relationship without actually being faithful. You have to be proactive in keeping the relationship in motion with your honesty, loyalty and integrity. No matter how attractive a person may be, a relationship built on self-centeredness will only last for a season.
In a business relationship, it is also imperative to protect the interest and values of the other person and not just yourself. If your customers cannot trust you because you do not protect their interest, you can be sure that those customers will not be with you for the long-haul. Your customers may stick around long enough to get whatever promotion or seasonal gimmick they bought into, but if you want to keep them it will take more than the attraction that brought them. Once the infatuation of the season’s promotion is gone, it’s going to take some much vested commitment, loyalty and consistency to gain and keep the trust of your customer while protecting their interest at heart.
Just as there are instructions and insight on what love is and how it behaves, there are also warnings on what love it not and the behaviors to avoid at all costs. If you stay away from the rest of the love-opposites listed in the rest of the passage in 1 Corinthians, you will discover how easy it will be for your customers to not only fall in love with you, but stay in love with your brand too!
DON’T BE DISHONORING… Just recently I called to make an appointment for my son at a new clinic that we chose because of their excellent advertisement for medical care. The facility was flawless and the medical teams’ records of success were impressive. As a new patient-customer, I was filled with many promised expectations from the attraction of this medical facilities’ stellar advertisements.
The first time I called to make an appointment I had a lot of questions to ask because this hospital used a completely different system than the one we were used to. I thought everything was going well until my ten-minute phone call ended and I was met with a very contrasting view of reality that opposed my prior expectations.
The phone clerk thought she had hung up the phone and began ranting on about how many annoying questions I was asking. I suppose she expected me to already know these things. I can only imagine how she might have felt that she had lost out because she didn’t meet her appointment quota for the day as a result of my ranting questions. But that wasn’t the only thing they lost that day: they also lost my trust. Although we attended our scheduled appointment, we never went back.
This is just one example of how easily all the years and money of brand building can be wasted in just one moment of thoughtless frustration. Needless to say, we found another place where our expectations were met. Not only did that business lose our trust, it lost the trust of others who haven’t even tried them because we became advertisement for them about what happened.
Whether you have patients, clients or customers, make sure your brand does not dishonor it’s supporter in the same manner as this business did. On your busiest and most challenging days, take a second to do a self-check or buddy check. This includes checking the tone of your voice, checking your physical demeanor when communicating and most importantly checking your attitude!
Here are some other dangerous behaviors to stay away from when getting your customers to love you:
- DON’T BE SELF-SEEKING… Love gives. Selfishness takes. Invest in finding out what interests your customers, even if it is something that does not interest you. If your interest is only in things that will benefit you, you may be your only customer.
- DON’T BE EASILY ANGERED… Even if a customer is in the wrong, maintain your peaceful composure at all cost because the next customer is watching!
- DON’T BE FULL OF PRIDE… It is okay to have pride in what you do, this is an important attribute of being marketable; but being full of pride is being full of yourself. Remember, no-one can see themselves with their own eyes. We all must rely on a mirror or another set of eyes to know what we really look like.
- DON’T BE BOASTFUL… Let your work and reputation boast of itself. It is never attractive to hear people brag about themselves, and this holds true for businesses as well. If you think you can do bad all by yourself, be prepared to carry that business all by yourself too!
Finally, always remember that LOVE never fails! LOVE is consistent no matter what is going on around it and LOVE will stand the test of time through all economic crisis and social-political transitions. When your customers know you are invested in them and their interests, it will show and they will know! Show your LOVE by being consistent in how you care for them. Never let a bad day or bad moment ruin a long-term relationship with any customer. You can read more on all of the attributes of love as described here in 1 Corinthian chapter 13.
At EXOUSIA, we love serving our customers and helping them to achieve all their business marketing goals and this year we will be hosting an event that we think you will absolutely LOVE! This September, in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, Exousia will host our 5th annual networking summit-of-the-year: Exousia Small Business Networking Summit (ESBNS).
ESBNS is the place where you will meet and speak to some of America’s greatest business leaders as well as grow and show your business brand with other small businesses like you! There will be phenomenal guest speakers, a panel full of business marketing SMEs, lots of vendors to help you promote your business, as well as a chance to receive an evening of one-on-one guidance to help you grow your business and brand to a greater level.
Stay plugged in to EXOUSIA to find out more about how much ESBNS means to your business growth this year – you do not want to miss out on this and the many more surprises that will be coming your way in 2015!
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