Truly love your customers?
Here’s your Top 10 Brand relationship guide.

More and more, brands are focusing on how to build stronger relationships with their customers. While tools are important, they are only a means to the end. In keeping with this time of year, the following list will seem very familiar to the best advice on build lasting relationships in our personal lives. How many of these values are present in your brand today?

1. Be important in their lives
Unless your product or service is an important part of your customer’s lives your relationship is doomed from the beginning. Find out what matters most to your customers and fill those needs. Yes, they have the right to change their minds.

2. Do not nag your customers
The value of your product or service should be clear and complement their lives. Frustrated brands trying to get even more from their relationship can sometimes be demanding or complain about — and sometimes to — their customers. Don’t do it. It’s a relationship killer.

3. Show mutual respect
Long lasting relationships are built and maintained by respecting others time and values. The values you project as a brand will attract customers — both good and bad.

4. Maintain open communications
Customers can make the best decisions with good information. Customers today trust the collective wisdom of strangers over friends, families and brands. Share all you can in the open to clear up misunderstandings and myths.

5. Be trustworthy
With brand trust at all time lows, brands that can be trusted and counted on in both good and bad times will attract customers. Why leave one of the most important differentiators on the table for short term gains?

6. Stay relevant and be innovative
Times and tastes change. Even “classic” companies need a fresh approach to keep the relationship alive. Long time customers are rooting for you to bring them new things that enhance their relationship with you.

7. Be open to constructive criticism
It’s hard to hear criticism, it can be uncomfortable and even awkward. As tempting as it may be, don’t shoot the messenger. Criticism is a gift to be valued. Remember, they can always leave instead and never share how your could have done better.

8. You will make mistakes.
No brand is perfect and everyone makes mistakes once in a while. Where the difference begins is how a brand responds. Acknowledge the mistake and move quickly to resolve the issue. They will appreciate knowing they are worth your efforts.

9. Don’t forget special days
While every day and interaction matters, don’t forget the important days in your relationship. Anniversaries, birthdays, key customer milestones or announcements. Remembering these show you are paying attention and want the relationship to last.

10. Be responsible, you are part of a larger community.
Finally, it’s more than about just you and your customer. Brands are part of a larger community of brands and you will be weighed in context with partners and actions outside the relationship. Stay aware and active, and you will know how to fit in and participate.

If all these seems like too much work, perhaps it’s time for you and your customers to reevaluate your relationship.

 

Charles Miller – DirecTV

Charles Miller is the Director of Digital Care and Social Media for DirecTV. He is also an SMCLA Board member as well as one of our speakers at this month’s panel “Loving Your Customer: Social CRM.” Stop by McCabe’s Bar & Grill in Santa Monica on Tuesday, Feb. 21 and talk shop with Charles! RSVP HERE.

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