Through design, an organization presents their brand. Through tag-lines, the identity of a company's brand is described and thus promoted. Marketing campaigns then proceed to develop brand recognition, but if that were all that any organization had to do to promote their particular company, many of us in customer service would be out of a job.
Successful branding is largely contingent upon credibility. Customers can be attracted to catchy names, clever tag lines, and beautiful web designs, but customer loyalty is built through customer interaction, quality products, and competitive prices. Once a customer has checked out your website, tried your product and was satisfied, you then have begun to build a customer database. Now to turn that customer into repeat business requires customer service that clearly separates one company from their competition.
What builds that foundation of trust that keeps customers coming back to one particular company? Customers return when they are more than satisfied. Customers return when they are 100 percent content with their experience - the organization has made their branding part of the integral practice of their company. It's as simple as a customer knowing that a company and their employees have listened to what they want, followed up on a complaint and handled it expeditiously, and ultimately addressed the customer's concerns. Erika Atkins, a frequent Palm Beach shopper sums it up, "It's about what you sell, how you sell it, and all the after you sell it. That's what makes me come back!"
So what makes your branding and customer service better than your competition? Sometimes it is all really too close to call, so the need to show your integrity, personality, and that unspoken willingness to step out of the box and go the extra mile makes that profound difference to that customer sitting on the fence of indecision. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make sure your employees are happy. A well-trained staff and a positive environment where everyone works together brings harmony to the workplace. When people want to come to work, they want their company to succeed and demonstrate their pride through their own professional actions.
- Always evaluate and rate the competition. Part of branding is the ability to deliver the best and stay ahead of your competition.
- Use your customer database and follow-up on all sales. Make sure customers were happy and listen to their suggestions to improve your organization. Feel privileged when customers take an interest in your organization.
- Stay in touch, be gracious, and always thank your clients and customers for your continued success.
- Find a passion and spend time making a difference with something beneficial to humans, animals, etc. Show that you care. Just get out there and participate.