4 Reasons your Brand isn’t “Marriage Material”

A good relationship with your customers is much like a marriage. Marriages built on trust, respect, and mutual understanding tend to turn out better than marriages that lack communication and respect. Customers that are committed to a brand spend more, more often, and are virtually impossible to steal away.
Typical marketing is a race to the lowest price, with sexy sale prices and catchy buzzwords. Relationship marketing is the old fashioned method of building trust and respect over time using new technology like email, social media, and sms messaging. While the platforms are new, the methods are as old as time.
1. You aren’t Kind enough
Use technology to express thanks for purchases. The fact is, customers can purchase your product or service from anywhere. Truthfully, a company in India can provide it better, and a company in China can provide it cheaper. Your competitor 1 block away is better known. No matter what you offer, customers have an unlimited choice of companies to buy from. A text message that wishes a customer happy birthday or anniversary, will go a long way towards building loyalty. Are your digital messages considerate and unobtrusive? If not, this could be a reason why customers stray to your competition.
2. You don’t respect their opinion
Asking a customer their opinion is the best way to ensure that your products and services are intuitive and responsive to client needs. Surveys that are 5 questions or less, and made at point of sale respect your customers time, and make it easy to gather the data you need to know what customers want. Asking permission to market via email, text, or social media tells a customer that you care about their privacy. Sending a barrage of sales messages on a daily basis does not respect your customers, and will eventually backfire. If you keep up that type of behavior, a temporary separation with your customer could become a divorce.
3. They can never trust you
Mis-using customer data is a great way to lose trust overnight. When Apple accessed customer i-phones without permission to delete copyrighted material, an atmosphere of distrust was created that has yet to be overcome. Apple announced it’s first decline in profits in the past decade recently. Don’t open the gates to a flood of customers only to disappoint on fulfillment. If you can’t fulfill expectations, turn that business down. It is better to be honest about what you can and can’t do than to perform poorly. Great marketing is a great idea only if you have your supply chain, customer service, and policies in order. When you are honest, clients will trust you that you have their best interests at heart.
4. Lack of Communication
Bringing customers into the reality of your business helps them have a vested interest in your company. Sharing grand opening pictures, press releases, and video of company events is a great way to make the most of Facebook. Remember, the whole point of social media is to be social. Share the good, and the bad (carefully!), but above all share. Communicate reasons behind changes before they are made, and take all feedback with good grace.
Don’t allow your customers to become one-night stands. If you bring them in with a clearance, or a buy cheap message, that will be the only way you can keep them. Resist the temptation to coupon unless you do it very very rarely. Your merchandise or service is worth it, you just need to tell the story as to why. Always market respectfully, creatively, and with consideration. This will keep clients married to your brand.
Ini Augustine, is the CEO of SocialWise Media Group, a social media marketing and training firm. You can follow Ini on Twitter @mrsmadbiz, or visit her website at www.getsocialwise.com