Products today are so similar that it’s often difficult to discern which item is better, and which one will last longer. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking of cars, watches, cellular phones, gallons of milk or flights; odds are, the items you compare and contrast have few differentiators. The items likely have very similar price points, too.
Credit: Creative Commons courtesy of Spidere Warmouse.
Today, what really drives customers to purchase an item is the relationship associated with that item. You must create a feeling of being known in your customers so that they want to do business with you more than they want to save fifty cents with a competitor.
“In today’s business environment, anyone can beat you on price. Many people can imitate your products and services. But one thing people can’t do is take away the relationships you build with your customers.”
– Ken Blanchard, Business Consultant
Competitors cannot change the connection a customer feels to your brand. That’s why an investment in building relationships will help your business survive price fluctuations, competitors’ product innovations and market changes. Furthermore, customers who love a brand are more likely to become brand advocates who share information organically with their social circles. Think of the fans who pay to wear clothing with logos, and the ones who have tattoos of their favorite brands; these are the people who will continue to shop with those brands in spite of prices and others’ innovations.
Credit: Creative Commons courtesy of AMGW Digital.
Each employee on your team should feel proud that he or she is instrumental to the success of the brand, just by building relationships with customers. Each of them must know that through good service and rapport-building techniques, customers can be transformed into raving fans. These raving fans are less concerned with the transaction that occurs in your business place, and more concerned with the way it makes them feel. To make them feel good, you have to make them feel known.
When we do this successfully, we become individuals who are more than workers, and they become more than customers with cash—relationships are forged that defy competitors’ marketing efforts.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou, American Poet
Each person has a responsibility and mission in business to make customers feel good, because that is what they revisit—that pleasant sense of familiarity and friendship.