By Carrie-ann | Dec 02, 2016 | Getting Your Business Ready

How to say what you mean and mean what you say

Retaining customers can often be a big part of ensuring success. Customers who use and appreciate your services can be a reliable core of your business when they are treated right. Too many business fail to think of their customers as individuals who need solutions that work and will value a relationship with a business that respects their needs.
A flashy marketing plan and some eye-catching advertising might secure customers’ attention in the short term; however, keeping them coming back means valuing them enough to put them first. Creating a successful brand is about creating trust in a product or service.

Say what you mean and mean what you say
Take note of what your business promises to customers. You must be prepared to honour these promises, as not doing so will probably destroy any brand loyalty that has been built up. Customers often fail to return to a brand that has not maintained its values; however, if a brand delivers more than it has promised and exceeds expectations, you not only create loyalty but also generate devoted customers – the kind who come back again and again and tell their friends. Great brands inspire strong emotions – in a way, you want customers to marry your brand and stick with it for life.

Distinguish yourself from the others
As part of really delivering great value and service to your customers, be proactive in creating good relationships with them. Discard automated services such as telephone recordings that annoy customers and replace them with a more personal approach that can build relationships and gather useful information about how they feel about what you are delivering. If a customer is about to desert you, discovering what is wrong and what action can be taken to salvage the relationship can pay dividends in a multitude of ways.

Know the difference between branding, marketing and advertising
Don’t be confused – these three may seem similar but accomplish different things. Marketing and advertising can both work to help businesses and customers to connect, while branding is about generating compelling support that draws on very strong and individual feelings associated with the brand. This can be extremely powerful and take on the aspects of a belief. People literally love great brands and associate them with emotions of desire, comfort, happiness and trust. These strong positive feelings are generated by having experiences with the brand and the people who represent it. Marketing and advertising might attract people to the brand, but maintaining their interest comes down to brand loyalty.

Be honest
Don’t say you are something you are not or promise to do something that is not possible. Customers pick up on insincerity and false promises and will not come back. They value products and services that are reliable.

Value your people
Try to imagine what it is like to be your own customer and consider the people who work for you – often the face of your business. What are the customers getting? Would you be happy to receive what is being delivered to them? If not, it is time for things to change. Loyal employees who effortlessly communicate that they are happy to be part of your business are also an important part of your brand.