There was a time when consumers had few options.
That meant all the power was in the hands of the business — customers simply had to deal with whomever was offering the service they needed.
It was irrelevant whether or not you liked the company or enjoyed dealing with them! Needed help? Good luck trying to get a hold of a support rep!
That wasn’t unintentional. Big companies have spent millions of dollars to prevent consumers from having any power or say.
How many of you have experienced this scenario before?
You need help with a product or service you’ve already purchased, so you call a support line.
You then have to navigate a purposefully designed maze of automated voice prompts that continually place you on hold or can’t understand your answers.
If you don’t give up (or lose your &*$% at the automated prompts) during this experience, after what feels like an eternity, you might make it to an actual human!
And then what?
Then, the person you get on the line for support likely has no power to fix your situation. They must transfer you yet again.
It's frustrating. And it's designed to make you give up.
Same goes for sales with fine print — offers that seem too good to be true (because they are!) and they end up locking you into nasty contracts.
And companies have been able to pull this kind of stuff for decades. And, quite frankly, it's only gotten worse during the ongoing pandemic. Just take this excerpt from a recent New York Times article:
"Many consumers are rightly aggrieved at what they view as poor service at companies that conduct much of their business online...and that seem almost gleefully interested in preventing customers from talking to actual people.
'The pandemic has given many companies license to reduce their focus on the quality of the experience they’re delivering to the customer,' said Jon Picoult, founder of Watermark Consulting, a customer service advisory firm."
As a society, we have lost our way!
Bygone is the era when the customer is always right.
More and more companies are foregoing the drive to build quality and treat customers like kings and queens.
The era of “Profits Before People,” can be seen across the board, most obviously with giant corporations, but even with small companies who are simply trying to survive in the race to the bottom.
The thing is, they won’t survive in this backwards way.
I am going to make a statement.
No, I’m going to make a BIG statement.
If we, as a society, want to survive and thrive, we must refocus our attention back to love.
This might sound out-of-touch, or maybe it sounds TOO touchy-feely, but bear with me, this isn’t just about “feelings.”
When I say refocus on love, I mean:
The LOVE of creating experiences that our customers love.
The LOVE of creating quality products.
The LOVE of making sure we do no harm to our customers or the environment.
If we do so, we will foster client loyalty and brand loyalty.
And customers will look less at price and more at values alignment.
I wrote an article a couple months ago looking at the human brain and emotional marketing...I’ll give you a quick summary below (or you can click here to read the whole thing).
Basically, the modern human brain has evolved from the simple reptilian brain, which is responsible for our basic survival needs (i.e. Will it kill me? Can I eat it? Can I mate with it?) to include more complexity with the mammalian brain. This mammalian brain is responsible for feelings and emotions.
And even though humans have developed the neocortex which is responsible for logic and complex decision making — all our thoughts and actions utilize all 3 brains.
So, what can we take from that?
Humans WANT connection and love. In fact, we NEED it!
Our complex brain looks for value, and it looks for brands it can relate to and trust.
And you build that trust through love.
Again, this isn’t just some aspirational, touchy-feely, let’s all hold hands and sing "kumbaya" kind of marketing strategy.
This is based on neuroscience and years of seeing what works and what doesn't when it comes to marketing.
Because at the end of the day, humans CRAVE great experiences.
In fact, they will pay MORE for great experiences.
And when you create great experiences, you BUILD LOYALTY.
Because, when given the chance, people will choose to repeatedly do business with the brands who love them back.
The brands that make customers feel understood, known and loved are the brands that last.
That's why you need to work on building customer love into your marketing strategy if you want more user engagement and brand loyalty.
For years, I've been working on a marketing process to help businesses more easily nurture brand loyalty, user engagement, and customer love. And after a decade of fine-tuning, I have created an entire marketing blueprint called the Marketing RAMP® (or Responsive Automated Master Plan) that does just that.
The Marketing RAMP® mimics how humans actually develop relationships. Its foundation lies in 7 Pillars that all work together to create a dynamic marketing strategy, aligning sales, marketing and operations to work as one, so everyone plays a part in turning prospects into customers and customers into raving fans.
In today's training, we're going to cover 3 of those pillars that will make it easier and faster to love your clients back.
Interested in the RAMP? Try Our Marketing RAMP® Software!
Our software will guide you through the RAMP build process almost as if you were working directly with my team.
Register for free today and you'll also get unlimited access to our online Learning Center!
Here Are 3 Keys to Love Your Clients Back & Spur Unshakeable Brand Loyalty
Craft the Brand Voice
Create the Pitch
Create the Assets
CRAFT THE BRAND VOICE
Finding Customer Alignment.
Your customers want to feel heard and understood.
They want to feel like your brand "gets" them.
You can foster this client love through crafting your brand voice. In the Marketing RAMP®, this is accomplished through four different in-depth steps:
Defining your company's core purpose
Finding customer alignment
Spelling out the process and customer transformation
Defining your company's "secret sauce"
These are all equally important which is why they're all fundamental parts of the pillar "Craft the Brand Voice."
I have covered each of these steps in detail before (check out the article here), but for today's purpose and focus on loving your clients back, I want to dive into the idea of customer alignment.
To discover customer alignment, begin by asking yourself a few questions:
What do your customers value?
What is most important to your ideal buyer? Is it money? Is it their time? Family? Reputation (i.e. being on the cutting edge)? Perhaps it's expertise? Or being empowered to solve their own problems?
How does your brand align with those values?
This is where you can create incredible alignment and understanding: what does your company do or provide that is right in line with the values of your ideal buyer? If they value communication and being empowered to solve their own problems, you can highlight your company's best practices around communication and collaboration.
What are your customers' pain points?
What is preventing your customer from achieving what they want? Everyone has problems and issues that they need solved, and products and services are there to solve it for them. So, what problem is your customer trying to solve?
How does your brand solve their pain points?
You want to look at both the emotional and practical ways you solve their pain points: Does your product or service provide an easier pathway with less stress? Do you provide amazing customer support? Does your product or service reduce wasted time or save money or increase happiness?
What are your customers' objections to the sale?
What are they thinking about your product or service that they might not be saying: Do they think it's too expensive? Are they worried about the time it will take? Do they not understand what it is you actually offer? Do they not comprehend the benefits of your product or service?
How does your brand SOLVE these objections?
What objections have you (or your sales team) heard before, and how have you answered them? Or, in other words: how do you assuage the prospects who doubt what your service or product can provide?
What have your customers' previous attempts to solve their problem looked like?
Have they tried on their own? Have they gone to your competitors? If so, what has that looked like? What failed? Why?
How does your brand assure customers that your solution is different from ones they've tried before?
This is where your "secret sauce" takes center stage. What makes you different from other companies? Is it time? Is it price? Is it efficiency? Is it communication? Is it all of the above? And how are you going to communicate the benefits of these differences to your ideal buyers?
CREATE THE PITCH
Using Alignment to Foster Engagement.
A brand pitch distills your competitive advantages into powerful, short narratives you can use to separate yourself from competitors.
Your pitch helps drive your messaging so customers can quickly understand what makes you great. A pitch, when done well, keeps its focus on what your company can do for the customer.
In doing so, it can build trust and user engagement faster than anything else.
Which is important, because the TIME it takes to build trust is vital to your bottom line.
The rate at which you're able to establish a trusting relationship between yourself and your ideal buyer, is the rate at which you can scale that relationship.
And your brand pitch can be the consistent narrative that fosters trust from the get-go.
The key to creating that springboard for user engagement is to succinctly tie together the details below into a short narrative. How short? Ideally, 30 seconds or less.
Who you are and who you serve
This is pretty straightforward, but if you haven't nailed down your ideal buyer, then you might struggle with the second half. (In the Marketing RAMP®, we do an in-depth ideal buyer analysis before we do anything else!) Because if you are vague about who you serve, then the person hearing your pitch will most likely tune out. If they have to work to figure out who you're talking to, then you've already lost them.
What they need and how you solve their needs
If you've completed the first step of "Crafting the Brand Voice", then you have all the materials you need for this section. Specifically, look at your answers to the question about your customer's pain points and how you solve them, and begin to create a short narrative around them. It can be helpful to write it out as a before/after scenario and then focus on the transformation.
How your solution is BETTER than alternatives
Again, if you've completed the first step, then this will come easily. The Marketing RAMP® is designed this way on purpose. Once you finish the "legwork" of the initial questions, you then have a framework from which to create ALL your messaging.
For this part of the pitch in particular, you'll want to look at your answer to the question "How do you assure your customers that your solution is different from ones they've tried before?" A helpful way to position this, is to start a sentence with: "Unlike [Solution/Company XYZ] that doesn't [insert how they don't solve their problems here], our company..."
PLAN THE ASSETS
Demonstrating How You Love Your Clients Back.
Once the foundational marketing plan has been designed, you’ll need assets.
Whether it’s thoughtful thank-you emails, free training videos, well-designed infographics, educational pdfs or eBooks – you’ll need to plan what assets are needed to bring your Marketing RAMP® to life.
Remember what I said at the very beginning of this article?
PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR BETTER EXPERIENCES!
And because of that, your company should be focused on delivering the best possible experience for your prospects AND existing customers in every stage of their relationship with you.
That means you're not just creating magical experiences ONLY when they're prospects or ONLY when they become a paying customer or client.
It's a continual, ongoing commitment.
And by planning out the valuable, educational or other helpful assets you will share, your brand will actually live by that commitment.
And that commitment will be what sets you apart from your competition and demonstrate that you truly do love your clients back.
And this is the customer love that builds authentic relationships that last a lifetime.
That's why "planning the assets" is the final step in the Marketing RAMP®.
Now, if you're not sure what your customer journey looks like or where you should be sharing various assets, you'll have to dig in a little more.
This article just focused on the 3 Marketing RAMP® Pillars that work on building love into customer relationships, but if you want to know how to map the customer journey (which I HIGHLY recommend as it's essential to a marketing strategy that works!) I have two suggestions for you:
1) Check out this article: "How to Transform the Customer Journey Into a Scalable Buying Experience"
2) Register (for free!) for my Marketing RAMP® Software. Not only will you learn more about how the RAMP will produce results for your business, it will guide you through the build process:
If you'd rather talk to a human about how the Marketing RAMP® works and how it can eliminate guesswork in your marketing, I hear you!
Just schedule a call with my team and I, and we will happily answer any and all questions you have and provide you with a pathway to the solution that works best for you.