Technology has changed our lives for the better in recent years. However, it has also made possible for customers to think for themselves and have more power over businesses.
What do we mean by this? Well, transparency and loyalty are now even more important than they used to be. Moreover, customers can now shop around, compare brands and read multiple reviews before they make a purchasing decision. Thus, we cannot just rely on product satisfaction. We need to know our target audience and connect with them on a personal level.
Boosting customer advocacy via trust
Now, we cannot say that connecting with our target audience is an easy task. It’s not, as it includes a variety of different factors. Nevertheless, the benefits of such a connection are abundant and much better than those that traditional loyalty provides.
When we connect with our customers on a more personal level, we essentially create vocal and engaged brand advocates. Those advocates can inspire others to buy our products and services through word-of-mouth promotion, for example. They will also share their thoughts about our business on social media and get us referrals. Thus, with brand advocates, we can obtain a larger amount of market share and increase our profit without actually investing more money into marketing. What’s more, those who are loyal to us tend to spend ten times more on our products or services than new customers.
Through our interactions with our customers, we can either reinforce their belief in us or refute it, it’s as simple as that. Therefore, it is of the essence to build trust through sincerity. Otherwise, if they think we’re faking it, they’ll easily focus on another business instead.
In order to build solid relationships with our target customers, we need to focus on a genuine connection. Furthermore, we need to make mutual trust a priority and concentrate on improving their experience – not how much they’re spending.
Traditions, rituals and practices — we can incorporate all of these so as to build a strong affinity for our brand. We can make our business a part of their lives by being consistent and credible. Moreover, if we show them that we can and want to meet their needs, they will grant us with strong loyalty.
What other brands are doing to build relationships with their clients
Every Starbucks café seems like a community, which was exactly what the company wanted. By building a community of loyal customers, they’ve actually connected with them on a deeper level. Now, each coffee shop is a place where they go before and after work.
Nowadays, frequent travellers want personal experiences and the focus to be on them. Thus, Airbnb is emphasising mutual trust and respect in order to bond with them on an emotional level.
There’s no better way to connect to your audience than to support different causes. That’s what Patagonia did, and it worked out pretty well for them. Now, they are associated with activism, and they promote all sorts of good causes. For example, fair wages and better supply-chain logistics.
An emotional connection is usually twice as valuable as satisfaction. Thus, it’s vital to find a way to connect with the audience on an emotional level. Here’s how we can do that:
1. Let them know that you “understand” them
The first thing you need to do is find out what motivates your customers. Maybe they are looking for a way to stand out, or they want to ensure that their future is great. Either way, their motivations will likely change over time, depending on the brand, industry, touch point and where they are in terms of making a purchasing decision.
However, don’t rely on blind guesses. You need statistics and data to learn what motivates them.
Once you find out your customers motivations, create a clear point of view that will show them what you can offer them. Focus on those who would be the best fit for your brand and then show them how genuine you really are. Finally, make sure your interactions, as well as your messages, are always in line with the value proposition your brand is offering.
2. Build a community
In order to build a well-connected community, you ought to first ensure that it’s a strong one. After all, members have to share some common ideas and goals so that they could connect. Thus, focus on mutual respect.
Of course, you also want to help your community connect by letting them communicate via unique tools. Hence, online forums, apps and polls are of the essence here, as they’ll have a much easier time talking there. Furthermore, connect with them on a more emotional level by organising live meetings. In essence, give them lots of experiences where you’ll show them how much you care for what they have to say. Only then will they actually reciprocate and help you promote your brand.
3. Encourage your employees to be brand advocates
In the end, our employees are the ones who are interacting with the brand every day. Thus, it’s only logical that they would be the ones who know it better than the rest.
Employees are crucial for any organisation, mostly because they are always the first ones to know our plans. They have exclusive access, which gives them a chance to generate excitement throughout the company. What’s more, if they are excited about the plans the business has in store, they are more likely to help the brand by becoming brand advocates.
More than half of our employees have probably already jumped on the advocacy bandwagon. However, there are others who need an extra push in the right direction. So what we should do is maximise the impact. We ought to create more opportunities for them to promote the brand when interacting with customers and help them spread the advocacy.
4. Create an immersive experience
We all want to establish a certain level of trust both outside and inside of our business. Therefore, we ought to rely on the human-to-human aspect, even though these types of interactions can be difficult to measure.
The whole point of human interaction is bringing people together. Hence, it’s far more valuable than any other marketing tool we may employ. But in order for it to work, we need to create a safe space for networking and connecting. We need to give our community a place where they can share their thoughts without being judged.
Furthermore, we mustn’t forget about the importance of two-way dialogues. We can use these dialogues at events and help others contribute to our story. Thus, we can deepen the connection we share with our customers and get valuable insight into their motivations.
Despite the technological advances, it’s crucial to find a way to connect with people on a deeper level. We need to engage them and show them why they ought to connect with our brand. Moreover, we need to show them why they can trust us and how they’ll grow as the brand grows.
It’s not easy, but if we start now, we just might get an advantage over our competitors. Otherwise, if our competitors realise that they should commit to their brand-customer relationships, we will have a hard time keeping our customers interested. What’s more, we won’t be able to win them over once they see how our competitors care for them.
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