Three tips that drive customer loyalty and strengthen your personal brand
My sales team is the engine that fuels my company. I know that if we can’t move product, the rest of the organization’s hard work will be worthless. So, when it comes to supporting my sales team, there are few things I won’t do. Chief among them is anything that might tarnish our company’s brand.
Think back to the Wolf of Wall Street. Yes, it was an epic movie about sales. But, in the end, his reputation and free-wielding attitude sunk his career. Would hiring strippers for the office boost morale? Maybe among the men in our office. But, the women and virtually anyone outside that heard about the “team-building exercise” would have a negative view of our organization. And deservedly so.
1. Excellence is a habit that results from uniform standards
Your company needs procedures and expectations for employees across all departments. A consistent, excellent customer experience starts with putting in place the guidelines that define your priorities. For example, will you cut corners and take care of the customer quickly, or be thorough and protect yourself from the blowback associated with careless mistakes? Don’t leave that decision up to your employees.
You’re the leader. Decide how your company will operate. Do the research, find the right balance of quality control and efficiency, and get the word out to your team. Hold everyone to the same standard and enjoy higher customer satisfaction across the board. As long as your guidelines are well-founded, your customers will enjoy a smoother customer experience.
The Harvard Business Review recently discussed how companies communicate with their employees. Their findings concluded that the companies that took the time to sell both employees and customers on the organization’s values found success. A memo or an email doesn’t cut it. Leaders have to market their values to their employees in a way that’s eye-catching, memorable and actionable.
2. Get creative and find new ways to be there for your customer
I know, this might sound obvious, but being there for your customer really matters. If something goes wrong, you have to be personally accountable and move mountains to make it right. I remember a time with one of my first start-ups where a customer had sent in their laptop for repair. I sent her laptop back and it was dead-on-arrival.
She called me, upset that it took two weeks for her laptop to be “fixed”, only to discover that she wouldn’t be able to use her machine. I felt awful. But, I had planned ahead for this disaster. She was the owner of a company that had an ongoing service contract with us, and I was ready to take this disaster and blow her socks off with my solution.
I hopped on a plane and traveled the 600 miles to repair her computer in person later that evening. Just recently, I read an article at Credit Sudhaar that discussed how “…enough [credit card] reward points may serve as an airfare voucher.” So, I heavily utilized my credit card within my business. Turns out, while I didn’t have a lot of extra capital, I did have enough reward points to get that ticket and wow my customer.
Not only did I fix her computer issue, but I performed a tune-up on her other equipment at her office. Was it over the top? Absolutely. But, I had gained a customer for life. To this day, her company only deals with my brands when they need support.
3. Leverage other products and services to complete the solution
Your company needs to add significant value to your customer’s life. Whether that means making tasks simpler, or making time off more enjoyable, the cost-benefit has to be beyond comparison. When you manage to provide so much value that your customer forgets about price-shopping, you’ve created brand loyalty.
My favorite solution for creating loyalty is by combining services. Just look at how Amazon operates. They’ve combined video streaming, music streaming, grocery delivery and general retail into a single package: Amazon Prime. Find ways to provide a comprehensive solution for your customers and you’ll earn the opportunity to become a bigger and bigger part of their life.
Whether it’s corporate culture, accessibility or the quality of your solution, your brand’s loyalty depends on the ability of your company to deliver value. Don’t let the competition catch you flat-footed. Make excellence a habit and strive to do better work every day.
Ahmad Raza is the CEO of Samurais.co, a design agency. With 7 years of progressive business experience, I have traversed challenging trajectories to help build brands. When it comes to writing, I have written in dazzling array of verticals, including entrepreneurship and lifestyle. You can catch a bit of me at @Thisizsparta