The objective of appreciation marketing is to get your customers to like and trust you. The Appreciation Agency is dedicated to nurturing this approach to marketing.
This past month, we laid the groundwork with some definitions of appreciation marketing: building long-term customer loyalty by systematically constructing a personal relationship between your organization and every individual or business you serve. Few approaches are more likely to motivate customers too like and trust you and your organization. Let’s look at a plan to systematically encourage like and trust among customers.
Start with getting to know your customers well. Who are they? Which ones buy most frequently? Which ones are most valuable in terms of the products or services they purchase from you?
Ask whether customers like and trust you now. Do your customers share testimonials that they are happy with the work you are doing? Perhaps they pass on referrals to other potential customers after having a great experience with your business.
Analyze your existing relationship with all customers. Are the members of your team on a first-name basis with them? Do your customers come to you looking for solutions to unusual problems or tricky issues? If so, these are good signs they will likely continue to come back.
To get your customers to like and trust you, it’s first necessary to know them.
The personal touch
The core of appreciation marketing is to show you care about your customers. This is true not only in terms of commercial transactions but also in terms of who they are as people. You can do this in a systematic way that makes it easier for you and ensures your organization stays top of mind with customers. When your customers think of the products or services you sell, they should be reminded of you and your personal connection with them, too.
The first step is to provide outstanding products or services that consistently will be their first choice. The next step is to reinforce the value they place on your company’s expertise by developing the personal relationship.
Start with simple and obvious things. Ensure all your team members say “please,” and especially “thank you,” frequently. In our personal lives, we are more likely to trust and like people we find pleasant to deal with. This extends to our business relationships, as well.
Remember, too, that you need to develop that personal relationship not just with managers and decision-makers but also with front-line representatives you deal with more frequently. The people who carry out decisions will provide feedback on your products and services and are more likely to be the source of testimonials and referrals.
As we mentioned this past month, handwritten notes have a huge impact on whether a business contact will like and trust you. Encourage your sales team to write notes by hand, and consider developing a set of templates they can use to craft their letters.
The suppliers that customers like and trust most are those who go the extra mile. Perks such as rush deliveries with no extra charge, bonus or premium features thrown in without premium charges and small favors that help customers solve little issues can have a huge impact. These gestures show you value your customers.
Small gifts can also be a nice gesture for key customers and their representatives. For example, you can click here for a free trial of SendOutCards. These need not be valuable in themselves, but they demonstrate that you appreciate your relationship with your customers. Such action on your part can build a rapport and nurture positive feelings toward your organization.
Lunches and other events can have real value, but more importantly, they represent time shared with customers. Such activities reinforce long-term business relationships with a personal relationship. The investment of time itself is most effective in fostering a positive relationship with customers.