Become the Kind of Brand a Consumer Could Fall For
We’ve all been on a bad date. Or, well, several. You know what I’m talking about — either it’s a one-sided conversation, and s/he isn’t really listening, or the awkward silences are overwhelming. Or “fashionably late” is a term they live by. And you’re eyeing the door, planning your escape…
The experience is anything but enjoyable and most definitely something you want to avoid at all costs. In many ways, it’s just like the brand-to-consumer relationship. If your brand were a person, would you go on a second date?
It’s time to deliver on a better, more human brand promise to online shoppers. The relationship is where it starts, and it’s what creates two-way value over the long term.
What defines a good customer relationship?
First, try this exercise: Come up with a list of your personal dating deal-breakers. Then apply them to brands to start framing critical consumer expectations.
In a healthy consumer-to-brand relationship, consumers:
- Feel understood and valued.
- Have easy access to service and sales individuals when the need arises. (It’s even better if they can reach out to the same people time and time again.)
- Have transparency into product and operations.
- Receive personal, relatable, and contextual brand communications.
Keeping these elements in mind, brands have to consider what tools to put in place that will facilitate relationship building.
Reality check: Have you audited what it’s like for consumers to connect with your brand? Was it easy or frustrating? How long did it take to get the service or answers you needed? A few minutes…a few hours…a few days...? Could you connect in a way that was convenient for you, or was it only convenient for the brand? If the experience was anything less than superb, it’s time to reevaluate your brand’s customer experience strategies.
Don’t base your opinion solely on your own experience, of course. Search for your brand’s name on Twitter to see what consumers are saying about you. If they’re not happy, they’ll certainly be venting there.
Check out LivePerson CEO Rob LoCascio's interview with MeetTheBoss.TV for more on bringing a live person back into e-commerce.
Breaking up: Why customers are calling it quits
Last year, consumers spent 3.6 billion minutes on hold (that’s 88 lifetimes), according to this infographic. What’s more, about half of these calls went completely unresolved.
Like any bad relationship, consumers don’t want to feel deprioritized. And now, change is coming...
New technologies like messaging apps, wearables, and WebRTC have set a different standard for universal digital communications — whether between a friend and a friend or from consumer to brand.