Building Relationship and Trust
The cornerstone of building a strong company is a high degree of trust that fosters a quality relationship. No matter how good the newest piece of technology, it is only a tool to help develop a simpler way to maintain a good relationship with clients. Whether we are talking CRM software or the newest mobile application, the tool is only as good as the trust and relationship building skills of the company liaisons. With a mobile world these days it’s a high priority to assure that your company website is built with mobile compatibility in mind.
Great companies are built on the relationship and trust that grows between a company and their clients. There are three fundamental pillars for establishing relationship and trust with a client:
- Integrity: This part of the equation is based on behavior and is driven by a company’s consistency and transparency in relationship to their business and clients. It has never been more important to be consistent since with social media any bad news travels fast via social media channels. Any one can have an off day, but what happens the remainder of the year is what counts. When a company gets bad press or has a customer service challenge, they need to respond quickly, address the situation calmly and honestly, acknowledge it, make it right and move on.
- Ability: This is based on the quality of a product plus customer service and is judged by demonstrable results in the consumer arena. Poor customer service can undermine the best of products and eventually the clients trust.
- Behavior: Clients look for congruent behavior with implicit and explicit brand and business values; and responsiveness to the client based on those values. Incongruities between behavior and values erodes trust and the relationships that a company has worked hard to build with clients.
We help companies build a brand and reputation clients can depend; helping to foster a growing relationship and trust throughout the years. Our consulting practice focuses on giving our clients the tools that creates a congruent behavior and culture their clients can depend on. Through social media and organizational consulting we assist clients in telling their unique story; engaging the end user through design and social media.
Both TOMS Shoes and Zappos are great examples of these principles in action. Both companies focus on their culture, consistency and keeping values and goals in sync with both management and their employees. Also both companies have broken many traditional business rules, but have risen to the top through their united values and their commitment to providing excellent customer service. Toms and Zappos are great examples of company outreach through social media. See some wonderful examples of corporate social media outreach: Twitter-Zappos, Twitter-Toms-Shoes, Facebook-Zappos, Facebook-Toms-Shoes
Create Ongoing Dialogue with Clients
Choose the social networks that your clients use-that is best place to start your company’s social dialogue. The growth we have seen in social media from the height of MySpace in 2007 and SecondLife to Facebook and Twitter emerging as social media leaders in 2009 to the emergence of Foursquare and Groupon in 2010 is a trend we see in social media to constantly change and adapt to our use, lifestyle and businesses. You are now able to build on the relationship capability of social networks with the addition of location-based elements we see the emergence of social shopping as a real opportunity for business.
As your company hones their social media presence, remember to keep some of your tried and true marketing tools because they still have an important role to play. Websites, email, blogs newsletter, brochures, and CRM software still have their place. All of these marketing elements help support your social media presence and give alternative communications avenues to support your customer service goals. By combining traditional marketing with social media marketing techniques, you are able customize your marketing message and increase the impact of your company’s message.
The marketing tools you use are only as good as the people and the processes that drive their delivery. The ability to execute a plan is what makes your marketing plan come together and have real power in the marketplace. When ideas, plans and tools are synchronized in a focused marketing message a company is better able to find a client’s sweet spot or hot buttons to help build relationship.
Knowing your customer, being able to describe who they are, what they want, where they shop, how they make decisions, what is important to them, is the beginning of building a strong relationship with potential clients. These are also good questions to answer in knowing how to deliver excellent customer service to potential clients. One of the key elements we focus on at Two Degrees Marketing is our competitive analysis and market research for our clients. You need to know your competition’s strengths and weaknesses as well, if not better than your own. Play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
Keep integrity, ability and your company’s behavior in sync with your culture, values, and goals and you will be on your way to producing excellent customer service and a marketing message that is responsive to your clients needs.