Posts Tagged ‘brand advocacy’

This Week’s Shot of Fresh: Ninjargon Masters, Epic Oscars Selfies, Customer Fealty, and Get Hired

Friday, March 7th, 2014
flickr user Mycael under CC BY License

flickr user Mycael under CC BY License

Shot of Fresh is our roundup of this week’s Fresh Ideas content.

Branding and Engagement Lessons From the Oscars

You may not have heard, but there was this selfie that broke Twitter … some famous people were in it? That and more insights into some things the Oscars did right – and not so right – on the branding and engagement front.

Create Goodwill to Gain Brand Advocates

“Discount Tire deprives of things to complain about. Fortunately, there are still politicians.” – My  dad. Aim to provide solid service and a great experience and watch your customer loyalty skyrocket.

PR Career Tips: Get Screened IN, Not OUT

You’re either in or you’re out, so best be in. Tressa Robbins shares tips from recruiters and PR pros from the PRSA St. Louis Career Development Day.

Jargonology Episode 8: Ninjargon

Tune in to the Jargonology season finale and determine whether you’re a ninjargon, or whether you just cause severe cases of ringage.

Create Goodwill to Gain Brand Advocates

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Create Goodwill to Gain Brand Advocates Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasWith the propagation of innovative content and target marketing, e-newsletters, and social media outreach, it’s easy to overlook the brands that nurture and build their brand base through good old-fashioned upfront, in-person investment.

It’s a pretty simple scenario: give a small service for free and create goodwill to nurture a returning, loyal customer.

It’s a sinking feeling to walk out to your car and realize you have a flat tire, and I experienced that special feeling on last weekend. I changed my tire the following and expected the worst when I took it in to Discount Tire. I anticipated more sinking feelings to surface when it came time to pay the bill; instead, I walked out only an hour later with a patched tire and no bill.

Discount Tire didn’t charge me for the time and labor it took to repair and reattach the tire; they just smiled and asked that when I need new tires, I come to them, which I certainly will.

I didn’t walk out of there happy just because I didn’t have to pay a bill – I felt satisfied because Discount Tire seemed to be a brand that’s not just aiming for transactions, but aiming to foster goodwill and make all the special car feelings a little less frustrating. Instead of seeking transactions for small services they could charge for, they take the long view that happy customers make repeat customers.

I mentioned this to my dad, an admitted curmudgeon and the one who told me to go to Discount Tire, and he told me: “Discount Tire deprives me of things to complain about. Fortunately, there are still politicians.”

In an age where people take to Twitter to complain about brands, it’s a huge achievement to provide a complaint-free experience, and immensely notable to provide a positive one. I didn’t tweet Discount Tire (until publishing this blog) because as a marketer, I feel that experiencing positive programs warrants something more substantive than 140 characters.

While it’s impossible to make everyone totally satisfied all the time, Discount Tire shows that their business model is centered on the customer experience and leaving a positive impression, and it’s come back to them many-fold. Forbes lists its 2013 revenue as $3.7 billion and it’s number 118 on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies.

It’s not every organization that can give away a product or service for free, but there are plenty of great examples: Sephora’s rewards program is a classic loyalty program that stands out because they give out high-quality samples the customer can choose after a certain attainable spending threshold. Trader Joe’s provides free coffee – a real perk when you’re shopping after a long day at work.

Capturing brand loyalty can seem like a formidable task in a time when everyone’s throwing out lower prices, more deals, and more rewards programs. But it’s important not to forget the simple act of treating your customers with goodwill and creating a good impression – because that goodwill will return to you in the form of their business and their brand advocacy.

Building Brand Loyalty Through Customer Service

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
flickr user adifansnet

flickr user adifansnet

In the age of an online marketplace, very few customers remain loyal.  How do we stem the tide of customer churn?  Companies that have great customer service, coupled with other great qualities like their product, tend to create customers that remain brand loyal.  One common denominator of companies who have loyal customers is the focus on the trusted relationships rather than transactions.  Without a solid relationship based on trust, you’re doing nothing other than appeasing customers for the short-term until they find something better.

I recently purchased a pair of denim jeans at Diesel.  Within a week, I noticed they seemed to have a hole in them from fraying.  I was disappointed to say the least, as I had only worn them once.  I decided to go to the store and discuss the matter to see about a possible exchange. I was expecting them to say no, given I had already worn the item.  To my surprise, they said to bring them in for a switch, no questions asked.  The customer service I received was attentive, courteous and genuine.  The associates seemed vested in not only meeting my needs as a customer, but ensuring I would return to the store again in the future.  Needless to say, I was elated and ended up going back later in the day for a new winter coat that had caught my eye while in the store.

We hear these stories every day, but we also hear stories from the other side.  I was recently watching NBC4 and the I-Team ran a segment on a college grad who sent her computer in for repairs.  The company made the repair, then added on additional repairs that weren’t needed, creating a hefty invoice.  The customer refused to pay, as she did not give her consent for the repair.  As a result, the company refused to return the laptop until they received payment in full.  Turns out, after an investigation, the company wasn’t licensed or registered with the state.

I watched the segment and thought, this all could have been prevented if they had fixed the problem the customer sent the laptop in for and/or the customer was consulted regarding possible additional problems and the fix was approved before incurring additional charges.  Now as a result, the state is investigating the company.  The company was not licensed and should not be servicing customers in the first place, but this serves as a great example of some serious missteps in the management of the customer relationship.

It is my belief that there is a direct correlation with building and keeping a deep customer relationship and the increase of brand loyalty.

Giving your customers something little makes a big reason for them to come back.  It doesn’t cost you or the company a lot and could result in a trusted long-term relationship with your brand.  After all, a happy loyal customer results in brand advocacy.  This is free marketing!  Isn’t that what every company loves?