Your brand is your image. Images are powerful tools to “plant seeds” in peoples’ minds. Coca Cola’s polar bear. Apple’s apple. Google’s rainbow-colored G. When people see these images, they’re aware of what those images represent.
Because of these images – these icons – people instantly form an expectation, based on their personal experience with the company. This expectation could be good or bad, depending on that experience.
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Let’s dive deeper into the world of brand marketing and figure out how to ensure people have a positive experience, to the point of loving, your brand… and how to be sure when they see your image, they think of “high quality.”
Don’t Keep The Client Waiting
How many times were you stuck in a waiting line at the grocery store? You have appointments to make, places to be, or dinner has to be made at home. How many times were you caught in grid-lock or stuck in rush hour? Were you ever happy to be stuck in line?
Nobody is. By this logic, your customers aren’t happy waiting for your product and service. Nobody in life is happy because they’re waiting for someone or some thing. I provide a service to people, and I feel bad for making my clients wait (as I hope you do).
If common customer complaints involve waiting, and waiting, and waiting… Evaluate how you can slash waiting times. Actively seek out more efficient means of providing your service, or sending out your products faster. For every hour that’s washed down the drain, money follows.
I often don’t believe that time is money except in this case. Your income is on the line. Your business’ livelihood is on the table. We’re playing high-stakes here. Time isn’t money – time is time, and both are being washed down the drain every minute your customers wait.
This issue is precisely why many retail stores implemented self-checkouts. People want to give you their money – because you solve a problem they have. It’s worth figuring out how you can give them their solution faster. There is always a way to streamline processes. Always.
Prove Your Expertise
One of the quickest ways to exude authority is to listen to your customers, and implement their feedback.
It’s also important never to seem too “perfect.” While it’s your prerogative to become the leading expert in your industry, showcasing a “flaw” or two only adds to your prestigious brand image.
For example, how often do you really believe businesses who advertise themselves as “the best in town”? Rarely, I presume. Positioning yourself as an authority in your industry, while exposing a shortcoming (that doesn’t relate to your industry) only shines a stronger light on your expertise and improves your customer experience. If you have been selling car parts, you can educate your customers by clarifying the difference between quality of products and enlightening them about the product flaws. For example, you can have them sit in the customer lounge and get the car’s exterior detailed out in front of them. They would find that you’re actually geared towards delivering customer satisfaction rather than bagging only bucks. But, always remember that customers are most likely skeptics; even if they love you already.
As a consumer, I’m sick and tired of waiting for businesses to answer my questions. As a consumer, I’m fed up with brands who value profit more than reliability. As a producer, however, I understand the long waiting times: I’m one out of a thousand customers who are in the same waiting boat as me. Sometimes workloads pile on too high, or shipments don’t get delivered on time, or there’s been a hold up at the manufacturing facility.
Consumers are the lifeline of businesses. Without their trust, we don’t have their business. Without their business, we have no business to run.
Therefore it is extremely important to be as fast to inquiries as possible. Figuring out what people value is a great way to streamline this process. In doing this, you’ve just made your clients’ expectations of your customer service top-notch.
This means cooperating and working with consumers, as soon as possible, to address any issues they have. As we’re painfully aware by now, customer service is of the utmost important departments within any business this year.
Evaluate the response times of your customer service. Who is actively responsible for addressing peoples’ concerns, questions and feedback? See if response times can be improved. We like to feel special, and that our words and worries are being acknowledged. Each and every one of us truly wants to deeply feel that a company values us – otherwise, we wouldn’t care enough to send feedback in the first place.
Keep this in mind: If someone didn’t want to hear from you, they wouldn’t have put in the time and effort of contacting you in the first place.
Target The Right Crowd
Savvy marketers and industry leaders don’t waste time targeting people they know won’t buy from the company. No, what we do is go after people who will buy our products and use our services.
Focusing marketing efforts and advertisement budgets on people who simply don’t care in the first place is a waste of that effort and money. I remember an ad (I can’t remember by who – we’re bombarded by ads on a daily basis) that sold beauty products to beautiful women. Not women who “thought” they were beautiful – actual knock-out, fit-for-the-red-carpet women whose jaw-dropping beauty stopped traffic.
The company that put out the ad offended a lot of “regular women,” but the company didn’t care. Their ideal customers weren’t real, regular women. The company managed to find their ideal consumers by restructuring their ad campaigns after designing an “ideal customer” blueprint.
Creating this blueprint for your own business is colossally significant. Think about your ideal customer: what’s their salary? What brand of alcohol (if any) do they drink? How do they spend their off hours: reading a book or watching TV?
An English study discovered that 27% of “poor people” (out of 1,500) are more likely to watch TV. BBC reported that wealthier people read books. Knowing if your ideal customer is a “reader” or “watcher” is important – as this avenue opens up greater connection points, or areas you can relate to.
Who does your ideal consumer follow on Social Media? Try and assume why your pitch-perfect buyer actually buys your product: what benefit is he/she looking for? What problems do they have in life that your product/service solves?
Putting in the hours towards figuring this analysis out will put you leaps above your competition.
People are not numbers or statistics, and it’s time companies and organisations and corporations stop treating us as such. By building relationships through connections with your customers, your brand image is solidified, and you’ve just guaranteed a life-long customer.