Do some people love a company MORE than they love their dog? You Bet – Here’s Why
Jeanne Bliss’ father sold Buster Brown shoes and when he retired, there was a line a mile long of life long customers that he served from the first “little piggie” down to the last. We all remember the days of the local small business owner who had relationships with their customers. And just because more than 80% of us buy things online and communicate via text and email, doesn’t mean that the days of intimate, friendly and inspiring customer relationships are over — in fact, they are just beginning.
The 5 Decisions Profitable Companies Make –?That Make Customers Love Them
Bliss talks about 5 key decisions that companies make that not only endear them to customers, but propel their profits. In fact, in the Hangout, Jeanne said that the companies that use these 5 decisions either GREW during the last recession or stayed the same.
- Decide to Believe: Beloved companies trust their employees and their customers. They suspend cynicism and create policies that assume honesty. My favorite example is of Zane?s Cycles, a Connecticut retailer that sells over $13 million worth of bicycles annually from one location. They encourage their customers to take test rides with no questions asked. That includes their $6,000 bicycles. Of the 4,000 bikes they sell each year, only five are stolen. It just doesn’t make sense to start a customer relationship on a note of distrust for the sake of the five people who are dishonest.
- Decide with Clarity of Purpose: Companies who decide to focus their operations on why they exist for the customer are rewarded with loyalty and love from their customers. Trader Joe?s agonized over the decision to get scanning equipment because the pinging sound might interrupt their employees chatter with customers. Apple spent a lot of time and money creating a retail environment that encouraged hanging around? so that the store would be a gathering place. You can see how unyielding focus on the customer experience is rewarded by happy customers.
- Decide to be Real: To what degree do you get? your customers? USAA decided that all their new hires should eat like soldiers. USAA offers home and auto insurance to a customer base that’s largely military members and their families. It’s clear from this example that USAA knows they can’t be real if they don’t know what it’s like.
- Decide to be There: Beloved companies are ?there? by giving their customers what they want. Zara, a trendy fashion store invests in getting fashion into the store within 15 days instead of investing in advertising. Zane?s Cycles gives away parts that cost less than $1. Find out what’s important to your customers and then BE THERE and give it to them.
- Decide to Say Sorry: At some point, things will go wrong. It’s how a company says I’m sorry? that makes them beloved by their customers. Netflix decided that honestly was the best policy. In 2008, they notified all of their customers about a glitch that might have caused shipments to be late. Most customers never noticed the shipment, but they noticed the apology.
You Don’t NEED Marketing, Branding or Any of That Stuff to Make These Work
Here’s something that will blow your mind in this hangout — all that marketing stuff like branding, positioning, or messaging aren’t necessary to make this work for you! ?(I know — I’m the marketing person that’s always pushing messaging and positioning, but this is PERFECT if you don’t have those things together)
Another thing I’m always saying is that marketing isn’t about what you DO, it’s about who you ARE — and?Jeanne shares some wonderful strategies that will help you do just that.