5 simple things you can do every day to build your business's brand equity
20/12/2018 by Ean Brown Partners Limited
Blog Series part 4
Let's face it, business branding and marketing is hard work. It takes a lot of time, dedication, effort and money. When someone is busy working in and on the business, this tends to be the first thing to move down (or fall off) the priority list.
But the good news is, earning yourself brand equity (you'll remember from this earlier blog post that brand equity is the customer loyalty and trust your business builds up over time) can be achieved by doing the following five simple things frequently and consistently:
Yes, it sounds so simple – too simple even. But how often have you approached a customer service desk and the person behind it has regarded you indifferently? Before any words are even exchanged you are already made to feel you are an inconvenience. This means the next person in that business you interact with will need to work twice as hard to impress you, to negate that initial negative contact.
And no, we don't mean a fake, forced straightening of the lips. We are referring to a broad, genuine smile that radiates warmth and sincerity. It takes literally one second of your time and requires half a dozen facial muscles, but for your client the interaction will have a far greater and longer-lasting impact.
2. Forgive others for not smiling
Conversely, do not begrudge a client or customer who does not respond positively to you. You don't know what kind of day someone is having, so switching off your friendliness at the first sign of resistance is not helping anyone. Continue being warm and helpful throughout that, and every subsequent, interaction. Perhaps that will be the one bright moment in an otherwise dull day for that person, and if they continue to come back time and time again, that may in fact be the exact reason why they do.
Grumpy clients can of course be difficult and taxing on anyone's mental energy, but having empathy for their viewpoint will help you to remain calm and find a solution that works for both parties. Imagine the feeling of relief someone may experience after they initially walked in angry and confrontational, but subsequently left feeling happy because their issue was compassionately acknowledged and resolved.
3. Go the extra mile
We all like to do our jobs well, and clients expect that from us as a matter of course. However really happy clients are made when we go above and beyond the expected.
It can takes all forms, but ultimately just involves being intuitive and forward-thinking on how you can put a cherry on top of your customer service - offering assistance to an elderly person or a mother with a crying baby, or helping someone on crutches having trouble carrying bags. As thinking, feeling beings we are able to identify another's needs and find ways to lessen their burden. The smallest gesture on your part could mean a whole lot to someone else, and these are the moments that are remembered.
4. Follow through / follow up
Words are cheap; actions are where the real proof in the pudding lies. Always follow through on your promises and don't make any you can't (or won't) keep, no matter how good they sound in the moment. If you fail to deliver on your promises, any trust or goodwill you tried to establish will vanish before it ever gained traction. As the adage goes "under promise, over deliver", never the other way around.
In that same line of customer-centric thinking, it says a lot about businesses who make the effort to follow up with customers post-purchase. It shows they care about more than just money in the bank – they want to ensure the customer is happy and satisfied with their purchase. Post-purchase follow-ups help to build customer rapports to promote loyalty and trust, and encourage repeat business.
5. Show gratitude
Never take for granted that your clients have the power of choice. They chose to come to you, but they could just as easily have gone across the road to your competition. Always show your appreciation of that choice by simply saying "thanks for your business" each and every time. It's sobering to be reminded you wouldn't be in business if it wasn't for them!
In closing ...
Building your business's brand awareness is an ongoing process – it means doing the hard things well, and the small things often. But it is rewarding, and you'll know you are succeeding when customers, new and repeat, keep on coming with very little advertising on your part, and will happily sing your praises at every opportunity.