Achieving breakout success as a small business in today’s highly competitive and increasingly complex business world requires exceptional efforts to develop clients and customers who rave about your company, and are willing to tell others. Failing to delight customers is more than a shame – it’s a slow road to business oblivion.
But developing customers who will become true fans of your business – both online and offline – is easier said than done. After all, if it were easy, companies with lots of money would be swimming in happy customers, but that’s not always the case.
So what’s the big secret? Maribeth Kuzmeski – author of the book called “And the Clients Went Wild!” – argues that in order to get customers to rave about your business, you need to build a strong emotional connection – the same kind that makes someone cheer for a sports team or star athlete.
“You can get others to connect to your company, product, or service by passionately delivering information that emotionally energizes them,” said Kuzmeski. “This is a true differentiator because so few people and businesses act with enthusiasm.” When someone exhibits real passion about something, we take notice.
Here are some things you can do to generate the kind of passionate following among clients and customers that many other small companies enjoy:
1. Create a distinctive and simple value statement. A simple marketing message or “value statement” is more easily transmitted without it losing meaning. Ask yourself: What is my business all about? Who are my customers? What is unique about what we offer? Look for what really makes your business different, and how that creates value for your customers.
2. Keep your brand message consistent. For example, your website content and email campaigns should be fully incorporated with your offline efforts. All should proclaim a single, clear branding message and design throughout. Use this same message in press releases, social media, brochures and elsewhere.
3. Make each contact have a point and a “wow factor.” Email, social media, mobile messages and other channels make it easy to stay in touch with customers. But make sure each contact has a clear point. For important clients, make sure there’s always a “next activity” scheduled. Call them, invite them to lunch, email them, or drop a note in the mail. Plan your next contact or appointment with a client during your current one.