From the first time we met, I could feel a connection. You asked me questions and showed sincerity in learning more about me. Trust was established right there and then. I knew if I told you about my favorite things, my family and who my friends were you could get a clear picture about me and my world. I also could sense that you had integrity and that I could trust that you wouldn’t share anything with your friends unless there was a reason to. Over time, we built a true affinity for each other as you were kind, generous with your time and attention showing me what friendship was truly all about. I made the commitment as did you to always be in touch, and look forward to hearing from you whether it was an e-mail, a text message or yes even the occasional note in the mail. Still to this day we keep in touch across the many miles that separate us and I look back fondly on our first date as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Brand Love is the ultimate result of building a true lasting relationship with your customer or guest. Is it any different than your first date, and how you embraced that relationship over time? We should all reflect on our first dates and make that commitment to build a relationship for as long as your product or service remains of interest to your buyers. From time to time, things change and you move on. That is ok. Breaking up is hard to do, but sometimes it is all for the best, right?
This holiday season you may have gone on your first date with a customer or guest and didn’t even know it. They made the first move. You may have thrilled them and they felt great about meeting you. And then again, maybe not. Perhaps a sales associate said the wrong thing. Or the product or service let them down. Do you know if this is the case? Have you made the effort to find out? If not, why not?
To achieve a lasting relationship with a customer or guest you’ve got to make a commitment to feedback. Guest satisfaction surveys, panel studies, focus groups, short surveys embedded in thank you for your purchase email, even a quick yes or no response from an opt’d in mobile messaging contact can be meaningful. In addition, invest in a social listening strategy that not only captures what people are saying about your brand or service, but build a two-way feedback loop to respond quickly and accurately to what they have to share.
Note to loyalty program owners, do not seek referrals from program members until they have demonstrated brand love. They haven’t made a commitment to your brand nor should they be considered a brand advocate until they have evolved to the point where their referrals are valid.
- Annual spend over a defined threshold representing top quartile (25%)
- Frequency of visit or transaction frequency representing top quartile (25%)
- Open rate of email and click-thru rate at minimum 40% higher than normative behavior
- Have opened and responded to at minimum one online survey request, and had a top box
(9 or 10 rating for customer satisfaction as well as willingness to recommend to family and friends
Valentine’s Day is not that far off in the calendar. Prepare to show some brand love and you may get some in return from your favorite customers or guests!
David Slavick is a Digital Global Strategist, Technology Expert in CRM/Loyalty Innovation. He is a regular contributor to The Wise Marketer.