One of the most powerful combinations you can have in business is a strong brand promise and a great customer experience. This combination alone can be the difference between a company that succeeds and a company that fails yet so many small businesses struggle to put this combination together. They either lack a promise all together or fall short at creating an experience that resonates and creates lasting memories to the customer. The goal is to use this combination to create brand loyalty that surpasses time, generations and market fluctuations. The key to creating that powerful combination lies within executing these 4 strategies:
1) Creating a strong brand promise and delivering on it everyday
As far back as I can remember, Friday nights was pizza night in my household. It was a big deal and a real treat. Sitting around the dining room table with my family as we laughed, shared stories and ate our slice is forever in my memory. To bring us this experience, we counted on Dominos Pizza whose brand promise was “Hot Pizza in 30 Mins or Less or Your Pizza is Free”.
Each week, we were delivered hot pizza and began to depend upon that for our family night. Even today with my own kids, Friday night is pizza night where Dominos delivers our pizza each week. This experience was one that I wanted to create for my children and most likely, they will want to create for their own.
So, the question is this: Do you have a promise that you make to your customers? Does your product or service bring something to your audience that they can begin to count on and couldn’t think of going anywhere else for it?
Too many small businesses forget about their brand promise. Stand apart from your competition and create a compelling promise that solves your customer’s pain and deliver on that promise every day. For Dominos, the customer’s pain was long delivery times and cold pizza… What is the pain your customer’s are experiencing? And how are does your product or service solve it?
2)Create an experience, don’t just deliver your product
The path to brand loyalty starts with making an emotional connection with your customers. It is about helping them create happy memories and delivering an experience that transcends time and space. A great customer experience usually only involves simple changes that can make the biggest difference on your bottom line. Unfortunately this is another area where many small businesses fall flat. They forget that the customer is part of the team and forget to integrate them effectively into the service model. What is it that your customers truly want? Why chose you over your competition?
I recently stayed at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs where the entire focus of every single staff member was me – the customer. Everyone knew my name and went out of their way to make me feel special and important. In addition to providing an exceptional hotel to stay at, they went the extra mile to ensure I was creating memories. They didn’t just check me into my room and point me to the elevator. They made sure I had everything I needed, they brought me to my room, checked up on me and every time I picked up the phone to ask a question, they knew my name and found the answer. They created an experience for me that I will not only talk about to my friends and family, but have already made arrangements to return with friends in the upcoming months.
3)Gather constant feedback
In business, you are only as good as your last customer’s experience and in a world that is constantly changing, a proven strategy is to make obtaining feedback from your customers a ritual in your company. Something that you do all the time, not once and not just after a purchase. Today’s customers do not want to simply interact with your brand; they want to become an integral part of your brand so create a business model that allows customers to freely provide feedback and recommendations for improvement. Asking your customers for feedback is a simple and effective way to pull them into your organization and make them part of the team. How else will you know how you are performing if you don’t ask?
How to you get feedback? Here are some simple tips:
- Send an online survey to customers
- Feedback forms on your counter
- Interview your customers with an impartial party
- Simply ask: Is there anything else I can do for you?
4)Strive to make that experience bigger, better and more memorable
Once you have feedback, you need to do something with it. Incorporating a follow up strategy that not only obtains feedback, but allows you to implement those suggestions into your organization and sends a message out to your customers that you were listening and you have made changes is a fantastic way to not only enhance your customer’s experience, but keeps you in front of your customers allowing you to develop a relationship. Strive to make your customer’s experience bigger and better. Focus a portion of your business strategy on developing new programs, training your employees and adding value to your current programs. Don’t settle for the status quo and remember, building brand loyalty is all about creating lasting memories for your customers.