As you shape your marketing strategies and try to figure out the best ways to market your business, make sure you’re thinking more about building relationship development than immediate sales. A company which sells well today then faces a flood of negative word-of-mouth and returns won’t last long. Here are a few key points to building customer loyalty and positive brand recognition for your business.
Most businesses understand the value of good customer support in shaping positive relationships with customers, but let’s dig into the concept a little more. The support apparatus around your company matters as much as anything you have to sell.
A customer may be somewhat put off if a product or service isn’t working right, but what will cement their opinion of you for better or worse will be the response they receive when they reach out for help. A pleasant CS experience will generate positive word-of-mouth and bring that customer back in the future. A middling or bad experience will kill any hope of retaining that customer, and may lead to negative word-of-mouth.
The content your company puts out in its name tells customers what to expect from your company in tone, value offerings, quality, etc. A regular presence on blogs and social media tells customers more about your brand and how they should interact with it than your product and sales apparatus, in many cases. Of course, there are several social media benefits to business.
Where you share content matters as much in many cases as what you’re offering. Effective outreach strategies to deploy content to primed and ready audiences will naturally generate superior relationships. If you deploy in the wrong networks, you’ll need to use content more reliant on tricks and generic appeals than otherwise; you may pull in customers this way, but they’ll be less engaged than those grabbed with targeted content.
How your company sells matters as much to your ability to generate repeat customers as what you sell. Techniques which allow you to make a sale quickly may fail to generate satisfied repeat customers. That’s not to say you can’t leverage certain methods, but rather that you need to understand the customers you’re contacting and how they’ll react to your approach.
For this reason, many businesses have moved to leveraging relationship management tools and analytics suites to segment customers according to demographics, purchase patterns, lifestyle habits, or how they engage with websites or call centers. Matching your sales type to the right customer type will naturally generate better results and healthier long-term relationships.
It’s far easier to build customer loyalty when you adopt high levels of transparency in pricing, great customer service, product specifications, and other systems you may instinctively obstruct. Again, it’s a question of whether a customer feels as if they’re buying from you fully informed or feel ‘tricked’ in some way after their purchase.
Transparency may lose a sale from time to time, but it will greatly reduce buyer’s remorse in those who do make purchases. When you factor in word-of-mouth, the cost of returns, and the loss of better opportunities to convert a prospect down the line, a missed sale is better than a regretted one.
The actual process of interacting with marketing materials, sales agents, purchase systems, and customer support plays a huge role in deciding how customers ultimately feel about your company. A company need to make sure their website, their telemarketing center, their sales scripts, their shipping tools, all of them are pleasant and effective. It doesn’t take much to turn a customer against you, especially if you have weak differentiation from your competitors.
If you’re already gathering data on user experience through surveys, CRM suites, and other tools, you should be able to quickly identify your biggest problem areas and most critical mediums. If you’re not, you need to start as soon as possible.
Ultimately, your relationship with customers is the sum of all experiences. If you want a healthy relationship which lends itself to minimal returns, positive word-of-mouth, and regular return customers, you need to look at every interaction, from beginning to end, and refine them with relationships at a higher priority than immediate sales.
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