I noticed this topic just came up as a search term on my blog.
I have several suggestions:
- Treat your customers like they matter to you. I had been a DirecTV customer for 15 years and pleaded with their CSRs and sent emails to their customer service department asking if there was anything they could do to help me get high-definition TV. Nothing. Now I get a 34 question survey about why I left DirecTV and my wife received a call telling us about high-definition solutions, after we moved to AT&T Uverse. Either DirecTV didn’t care about me as a customer or their internal communications are so siloed, they need to be blown up.
- Have a dialogue with your customers. DO NOT rely on “big data” to tell you what your customers need, want, are thinking or how emotionally involved they are with your brand. After reaching out and complaining about reciprocity, Chipotle’s director of social media has done a good job of listening to, and responding to me, as a real person. They know why I’m loyal to them and eat their food five days a week.
- Tell your customers what they can do to help you. Customers that are “raving fans” want to see you be successful and want to help you be successful. Figure out a way for your customers to help you. I’ve done this with numerous blog posts, Facebook posts, Yelp reviews and Google+ reviews for Chipotle and Atlantic Avenue Tire. Please tell me what else I can do.
- Address negative feedback directly, quickly and publicly. In this day of social media, a “detractor” can really damage your brand. As such, you need to address their concerns. I suggest you reach out publicly on the same channel in which the complaint is made and then take the discussion and resolution offline via telephone, email or face-to-face if possible. Your brand advocates will support you in social media and assuage any concerns raised by the detractor. Your ultimate goal is to address the needs/complaints of the detractor in a way that they become a “promoter.” There’s a lot of research showing that customers whose complaints are resolved become more loyal and profitable than those customers who never complain.
In summary, be real, be responsive and be reliable to emotionally connect with customers.
What other suggestions do you have for emotionally connecting with customers?
Note: Please let me know if I can be of assistance to your, or your firm, with regards to connecting emotionally with your customers.