Your company’s control over how its brand is conceived only goes so far, after that the customer has complete control. Until your brand is introduced to a completely new audience, your company is in control, that’s it. Now, everything at stake lies in the hands of your customers or, more appropriately, their fingers. They can make or break an entire business based on online feedback that is available for everyone to see, whether it’s Google reviews, on your Facebook or Twitter pages, Yelp, Glassdoor, etc.
So, what your business needs to do is make sure they are producing the best products and services, as well as top-notch customer service. It’s fairly simple to please most people doing the minimum amount of work, so why is it that so many fail so badly in customer service? Your brand could practically sell itself by good word of mouth if you have enough customer feedback.
Make Sure Your Branding Is Clear
This doesn’t mean consistent brand logos or icons (although you should), it means that consumers should understand what the company is all about. Put your most unique aspect in the forefront of potential and current customers’ minds. If you donate a certain percent of every purchase to an organization, use sustainable sources, or the products were made by workers earning a fair wage, make sure everyone is aware that your business is philanthropic or concerned for the environment. Another way to “boast” the company is having a unique backstory about why you are in business doing this or if you have worked with other companies that you can name drop.
Get Your Employees On Board
Being employed is not always enough to make employees advocates for your brand. Customers can tell when an employee understands and loves what their company is all about, it doesn’t matter whether it is conversing with a retail associate or speaking to a sales representative if the employee isn’t genuinely interested in what they are trying to sell they will lose a customer. Employees need to display a genuine effort and then understand how the customer felt about the interaction.
Create an Emotional Connection
This will keep your business tethered to customers’ hearts. Going back to your brand values, many times customers remain loyal because the company values what they do and therefore every deal or purchase is meaningful. Comfort and experience factor into this category as well. A sales rep that is unwilling to come to the customer, an uncomfortable store or restaurant atmosphere, or a business that is not willing to make an effort for a prospective client or customer will not go down well. This can also apply to the way you communicate with customers.
Follow-ups are always, always, always important. The easiest example is retail. If a new customer makes an in-store purchase ask whether they would like to sign up for email newsletters that can include an opportunity to review them. If they make an online purchase you can setup an automated pop-up or you can send an automated email with the same information.
Keeping customers up-to-date virtually and following up on the service engages the customer further. In summary, your business needs compelling brand values, connected customers, and loyal employee engagement.