Loving your customers is an art that smaller businesses have a better chance of mastering.
For entrepreneurs and small businesses, there seems to be an arsenal of tools for digital performance available only a few clicks away. Everything from free e-books and software trials, to webinars.
The resources are out there but they are also available for big brands. Any SMB can set up and take advantage of these resources, but so can a giant brand with a monumental budget.
True innovation can certainly level the ground, in a battle for relevance in the mind of consumers. But an area where many large corporations may struggle is displaying love to customers.
What’s Love Got to Do With it?
The tricky thing about love has been its definition. But since we are talking marketing here, there is one author who gives a relevant spin on the subject that we can apply for our business goals.
Erich Fromm, Psychologist and bestselling author of The Art of Loving proposes a change in view.
Our love is not the person for whom we feel, but love is a process, and art. The difficult part is not finding the right partner, the challenge resides in following the basic elements of love which are four.
The 4 Elements of Loving Your Customers
Research shows, it is not rare that after the initial passion wears out, couples state they do not know their partners anymore. Basically they never knew them beyond desire.
Get to know your audience, your market niche, the people you wish to serve. And do not bend your identity or your product to cater too much. It has to be a right match.
Not only is product market fit important, but if a brand is to have a sustainable relationship with an audience, it has to transcend passion. It has to be relevant for both to the core.
Take time to get to know your audience. Use tools like survey monkey, or conduct social listening. Focus groups or interviews are also great
Being ready to serve the customer is basic. If you do not have everything in place for your client to receive your service all through their customer journey, you are failing at responsibility.
In this age, responsibility goes beyond the commercial transaction. For sustainable love, you must consider other human needs such as ethical, spiritual, ecological or social dimensions. Consumers will love in the long run those who are responsible with and responsive to their needs.
If we do not respect customers, they will eventually know. Look at the toll the VW scandal has had in terms of stocks, money and brand value.
Leaders of corporations as well as SMBs need to respect themselves and be honest in order to respect their consumers and win respect.
The previous three elements are more based on principles and the final element is love as an action. This is how we manifest the previous principles.
Care means keeping an ever constant conversation with our customers in our social media channels. Care can be shown in getting to know your audience in how you provide your service.
Care is also for self. That means participating in the events that are relevant for your market, and enjoying yourself.
Sounds simple right? After all you love your brand, your business and your customers, but the challenge (and the opportunity), here is, you can not apply these principles of love to your market fully unless you apply them to yourself first.
I’d love to hear how you practice the 4 elements. Let me know in the comments.