Did you know that a lot of business owners are scared?
It’s true! They’re scared of seeming non-professional. They’re scared of addressing complaints of customers in view of the general public. They’re afraid they don’t have the million-dollar marketing budget they think is necessary to get the customer base that they desire.
On the surface, these fears seem totally rational.
However, these fears are holding business owners back from creating a completely successful company.
These fears make creating a personable, approachable brand nearly impossible. And this type of brand is exactly what potential customers are searching for.
To get the customers you want, you don’t need a huge marketing budget. You don’t need professionally created videos. What you need is a brand that is human, real, and completely approachable.
Ted is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic guys around – we always have a blast when we get a chance to chat.
Today, Ted shares some tips with us regarding how to create a personal connection with potential customers, particularly by utilizing real-time influencers.
How to Improve Your Brand and Make Customers Truly Happy
A lot of companies that focus on their brand tend to focus on it in a way that’s expensive and not really that powerful.
If you want to get more bang for your buck, focus on one of the biggest influencers you have: your customers.
How can you do this? There are five ways to create a brand that makes customers truly happy and ready to spread the word about how awesome your business really is.
1. Give Your Employees More Leeway
Besides your customers, your employees are one of your biggest sources of influence. Therefore, it’s vital to get them involved.
If you keep your branding and marketing efforts all to yourself, you’re losing out in two important ways.
First, you’re making your job way too hard. While you are an integral part of your brand and the influence it has on the world, that doesn’t mean you have to do everything. Learn to delegate.
Second, you’re missing out on the opportunity to take advantage of a variety of perspectives. Each employee has a perspective that’s at your disposal – if you take advantage of it.
One company that’s done this is Arby’s. Instead of leaving everything to the higher-ups, Arby’s is interested in gaining perspective from all their employees. It is this attitude that helped them achieve one of the greatest marketing moments in Arby’s history.
Some Arby’s employees were watching the Grammy’s and saw Pharrell Williams wearing a hat that was very similar to the Arby’s hat logo. They decided to capitalize on this (and have some fun) by creating a “Hey Pharrell, give us our hat back!” campaign.
2. Make Sure You Have Guidelines in Place
This isn’t to say, though, that you shouldn’t have any boundaries. As Ted says, if you don’t have any boundaries, you are way behind the curve.
Having boundaries and guidelines for your employees requires training. But the training doesn’t have to be extensive.
Instead, create some simple guidelines that everyone can follow.
For example, when it comes to customer service, every employee should be trained to say:
How can I help you?
Let me get somebody who can help you with this.
That’s it. This simple step will make your customers feel like they’re being listened to and that their questions and concerns are valid.
People who have more experience or job skills that will help address a customer’s concerns can offer more. But at the very least, simply ask how you can help and then direct the customer to someone who can assist them.
3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great platforms to get feedback from customers.
Ted recommends being completely visible on social media – in good times and in bad. For example, if a customer has a complaint about your product or service, by all means, address it. A lot of companies run away from this, choosing instead to address issues behind closed doors.
Don’t do this. Address concerns out in the open. Doing this is a way to answer questions other customers may be asking. Plus, it shows the customer with the issue that you’re willing to listen to them and help them in any way possible.
Happy, Satisfied Customers Can Be Your Biggest Influencers
When most entrepreneurs think about influencers, they tend to think about themselves having an influence over customers.
While this is a sort of influence, this isn’t the influence that Ted thinks is essential to your business. Instead, influencers are those people who have a role in influencing how others view your brand.
You and your employees are definitely two big influencers, but don’t discount the role your customers play in influencing other people.
When you have happy, satisfied customers, they’ll help spread the word about your company, your products, and your services.
How do you get happy, satisfied customers? You do this by treating them as human beings, as you would like to be treated if you were a customer. You listen, you answer their questions, and you address their concerns.
By doing this, you’ll create an environment where customers feel valued. And customers who have this experience will be more likely to share what they love about you. And they won’t just do this with their immediate circle of friends and family members. They’ll spread the word across social media.
If you want this type of vital real-time influencer in your corner, do all you can to improve the customer experience.
Would you like more information on how to engage and interact with your audience? Check out Ted’s website or social media pages. And don’t forget to head over to his new website with partner John Andrews.
About Ted Rubin
is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, Acting CMO of Brand Innovators, and Co-Founder of Prevailing Path. In March 2009 he started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship, hashtag #RonR. Ted left his position as Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias on August 31, 2013. He remained a principal shareholder until the November 2016 acquisition by Inmar.