In today’s ultra-competitive landscape, customer relationship management is vital and while CRM software can help mid to large businesses, that’s not what I am talking about here.
There are too many options to allow this pillar of good business conduct to crumble.The customer is not a widget or a statistic and should not be taken for granted by anyone. They should be valued as much as the employee values their paycheck. It is impossible for loyalty programs, rewards cards and “cool places” to hang to replace the importance of building and stewarding a customer relationship well.
Thankfully, the coffee company I have been comparing has a rewards program that I use no matter the location. I go to the further coffee shop, not because of the rewards, but because:
- The staff is engaging
- I am greeted by name
- They know the drink I want
- The tables are clean
- The internet is fast
A completely different level of service that keeps me coming back.
There are three ways to build brand loyalty through stewardship
1. Understand the Customer
Knowing the products, prices and the employee handbook front to back does not get it done. Understanding the customer form a “needs” perspective allows the business to serve in its greatest capacity.
I get the idea behind market research; however, what I am talking about is seeing the need beyond a cup of joe. It’s a busy Monday morning and the customer needs their coffee. The staff can see their mood, their emotions and may even know their personality type.
The savvy team member can understand that the customer is there to meet a client, friend or colleague and they serve them appropriately.
They can read the line like a quarterback reads the defense. The team member can sense they are in a rush and works with them to serve them quickly – “no small talk today”, the manager thinks to herself.
It’s more than just ringing up the item at the right price. They understand their customer!
2. Build Rapport With the Customer
Rapport is defined as a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well. What destroys loyalty is the fear of engaging the customer deeper than the phrase, “So, what will you be having today?” The team member must ger personal.
The art of knowing the customer name is huge and getting to know the product they enjoy most can be a game-changer. Taking it to a new height would be to know their career or why they like the Yankees so much (yikes)!
3. Under Promise, Over Deliver
So much today is exaggerated including the promises made by organizations to their customers. We have all been there and it can be damaging to our stewardship when we talk a good game, but don’t put the effort in to follow-through.
I am an expressive personality and I can do this often. I get excited about something that I would like to offer folks and before you know it I find myself overcommitted and not able to put all the effort in like I had hoped.
We are not going to be perfect at all of these things; however, I do know that we can strive to become better stewards of our customer relationships leading to increased brand loyalty in an ultra competitive marketplace.
Question: Have employees attempted to know your name this week at your local businesses? You can leave a comment by clicking here.