04 Aug How to make Customers fall in Love with your Brand?
Building a brand may seem to be an exercise of profit making, but in the end, it’s a matter of emotional connection. Around 75 percent customers prefer a brand or return to it because of the emotional connect that they feel with it. Brand marketers have often compared building a brand with customers to that of a spousal relationship, where time and effort have to be put in to build a long lasting association.
At the outset, any brand should treat its customers with utmost respect and care because they act as evangelists and bring in newer customers. Here are some pointers that would get customers to fall in love with your brand.
Believing in your Brand
Before convincing anyone of your product, you must be sure of it yourself. The concept, product, reasoning behind its formation and ways in which it can be put to use are some aspects that you should be clear about your brand. Assess your products from the point of view of an investor- would you park your money in the product? If not, then you know where the problem lies.
Selecting a target audience
Expecting every customer to require your products would be akin to trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. For instance, a photocopier may not be of any use to a stay-at-home mom. Therefore, choosing your target audience for selling is very important. Once you have done so, you need to package the product in a way that attracts customers. For instance, P&G has branded its products with the tagline “Proud Sponsors of Moms”, mainly because they are used by women who handle household chores.
Keeping the target audience in mind, the product’s branding must be done.
Engaging with customers through content
Thanks to the internet, most customers read all possible information, including reviews of a product before choosing it. Therefore, you need to be careful about the content that is uploaded for your brand. Content+ has reported that one of the top three reasons why customers follow a brand or a page is compelling content. A brand that disseminates incorrect or vague information does not inspire customer confidence. About.com has found that 84 percent customers shall not interact with a brand that they don’t rely on. Your content should be eye catching and be aligned with the way the customer thinks, for them to share it with their peers.
Provide real time customer support
When a customer is browsing your website, s/he may have ample questions about the products. Answering queries that customers may have is an integral part of building customer relationships. As per a report released by Bain and Company, 80 percent CEOs believe they provide good customer services, while only 8 percent customers agree with them. Customers do not want standard emails and SMSs. They prefer real life interaction with customer services executives to have their queries answered. Harris Interactive has estimated that 73 percent customers prefer brands that offer excellent customer service.
Providing real time customer support is very important because it convinces them of the quality of service you shall provide. eMarketer has found that 63 percent customers are inclined to return to a website that offers live chat feature. A customer support line that is toll free and active 24X7 is also a good idea as those using your mobile site can use it to gain further information.
Expressing Gratitude to Customers
Never fail to acknowledge the fact that a customer used your products when thousand others were available to him. A Thank You note when the product is delivered goes the extra mile to cement your relationship with a customer. Genesys has reported that the annual average value that a brand loses to its customers is $289. Therefore, you should take extra care to keep your customers happy.
Encourage feedback from Customers
To stay abreast of competition in the market, it is importantto innovate upon products and align them with the needs of buyers. Apart from regularly surveying the market, customer feedback can be valuable for product innovation.
According to economist Albert Hirschman, when the quality of goods deteriorates, a customer has three options at his/her disposal- exit, voice and loyalty. If customers regularly find faults in your products, they are most likely to exit than stay loyal because of the scores of options available to them. The very few who voice their opinion should matter to you. Lee Resource has stated that for every customer that raises his/her voice, 26 others don’t. They are most likely the ones who will switch brands. The image that you project of your brand should be welcoming to customer feedback.
However, a bone of contention here is that you should be able to segregate constructive criticism from pure spite. Several reviewers or complainants come up with non-issues and you need to be tactful while dealing with them.
Acknowledging your Failings and Faults
Expecting a business to perform flawlessly is unrealistic. There may be glitches in delivering products due to unforeseen circumstances. Admittedly your customers shall be disgruntled, but if you acknowledge your faults, customers retain their faith in your product. Sending an apology mail to them when the fault lies in your services appeases disgruntled customers somewhat. After the Big Billion Day Sale failed to meet expectations, Flipkart.com sent out an apology e-mail to every customer of theirs, even those who did not purchase anything. Their email saved the situation from snowballing into a bigger issue and retained the faith of customers.
Ruby Newell Legner has reported that 70 percent customers continue with a brand if their complaints are resolved. Modesty can go a long way in keeping your brand functioning.
Offering Perks to Loyal Customers
Rewarding your loyal customers is very important because they act as brand evangelists, attracting a wider customer base. ClickFox has estimated that 62 percent customers are likely to switch brands if they don’t feel adequately loved and rewarded. Offering special rewards and discounts occasionally, shall work to retain customers. Several brands have a programme where those referring customers get special discounts of 10 to 20 percent.
Much like a successful relation, ample hard work has to be put in a brand that is viewed as a beacon of innovation and champion of customer connect.
Saurabh Agrawal is a seasoned Marketing professional with more than 12+ years of experience across continents and industries and is currently ‘Head of Content & Communities and Product Strategy’ at IndiaHomes (www.indiahomes.com)
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