3 Must-Do’s for Building Brand Relationships
Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve encountered the good, the bad and the ugly of brand relationships. I won’t bore you with the details, as everyone’s got stories of their own when it comes to being served…or underserved as it may be. But, at the heart of the issue, service has a HUGE impact on your brand.
Practice Unrelenting Customer Service
Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s simple to say, “To loose weight, all I have to do is eat right and exercise.” It’s another thing to put it into practice.I don’t recall where I picked it up, but I love the term “Unrelenting Customer Service.” Forget “great” customer service or “excellent” customer service. Unrelenting literally means not softening or yielding in determination or not letting up or weakening in vigor or pace. Be relentless in how you care for your clients and they’ll see a difference.
I count myself fortunate to have learned this lesson early in my career. As a small business, workflow management is as important as effectively managing cash flow. A “jump – how high” mentality is great, but if you can’t make it over the hurdle you’ll disappoint. Remember, business is a marathon, not a sprint. Effective workflow management, staffing and scheduling will help you to over-deliver on your commitments rather than disappoint with missed deadlines and poor results.Next time you are faced with client request, gauge how urgent the issue is in your customer’s mind. If it isn’t of the utmost importance, ask their permission to appropriately schedule it into your workload by saying something like “Is it ok if I have this back to you by Tuesday, or do you need it sooner?” Chances are, they’ll be fine with this arrangement. And, hopefully you’ll have the project back in their hands by Monday – creating opportunity to over-deliver on your work.
Create Fierce Loyalty
I’m not talking punch cards or loyalty programs here. I’m talking about giving real value to your customers, value that keeps them returning time after time. My favorite way to do this is by practicing generosity.Being generous is contagious. If you are willing to give without hesitation, the favor is almost always returned and an instant bond is formed. Take the age old example of a “round of drinks on the house.” A simple gesture, really, that not only results in a larger tip, but almost always a repeat visit. The same is true across all businesses, if you give of your time, knowledge or services, you add value and create an instant and long lasting bond.
Unrelenting customer service, over-delivering and creating fierce loyalty are all great ways to strengthen relationships with your customers. And, they work for employee relations too! Practice them daily and your brand will be well-served.