I recently witnessed a local restaurant close their doors permanently. The thing that amazed me the most was the reason why they had to close their doors. The reason was simply, they were mean to their customers. Yup, that’s it! It’s amazing to think they would still be in business if they had been nice… That’s it! You can have the best food in the world, but if you treat your customers like crap, they are not going to come back, they are going to go to a competitor!
So I want to share you with some ways to create stronger loyalty your competitors will wish they had…
In this Part 1 I am talking about is Brand Touchpoints that are pretty obvious, but still not everyone thinks about. A Brand touchpoint is a point of contact you (your brand) has with your audience and the contact they have with you.
Let me also add, there are touchpoints for different phases of your target audience. From pre-purchase, to purchase experience and post-purchase. In this post, I want to focus on pre-purchase touchpoints. So let’s start off with the main touchpoints:
Your Web Site
Your Web Site is a pretty darn important touchpoint! This is where people come to find out more about you and what you offer. This is where you have the opportunity to show people you are the best! But in a way that doesn’t come across as a hard pitch or in an egotistical way. This is a perfect place to engage your audience and offer VALUE. Value is key here, so take advantage of the opportunity to shine! As a brand touchpoint, this also includes the looks and layout of your site. You want a nice looking site that expresses your image. You also want it easy to navigate through, giving them a great user experience. If you frustrate your audience right off the bat, you will lose them quicker than you can say “Wait!!”… and they will be off cruising over to your competitor’s site.
Social Media is another touchpoint where you are having contact with your target audience. I have said it before and I will say it again… Be careful what you say and do on Social Media, because people are watching and everything you post is expressing something about your brand. If people are engaging you and you don’t engage back, you are telling them they are not worth your time. If you are posting stuff that is offensive, you are telling people you are a brand they probably don’t want to do business with. And if you really want to step it up a notch, honor your clients and customers via Twitter, Facebook or whatever your platform of choice is. Make them feel special and valued. I will also add, video such as Youtube, Live Streams, Webinars, etc. is a great way to create a touchpoint that can help people get to know and trust you as you offer value, insight and maybe even a little entertainment.
Email is something that can be easily overlooked. With the huge amounts of email that many of us get on a daily basis, it can be easy to lose your personal touch when you are in a hurry and responding to tons of emails. But it is important to always remember that every email you send out, is an interaction with that other person and it is telling them something about you. Even something as common as email, you must make sure it is a good experience for the people you are in contact with. The same is also true for newsletters you send out to your prospects & clients. I think its safe to say we have all been annoyed by how some people use auto-responders with slamming us with annoying sales pitches, which shows that they are willing to risk their brand reputation to try to make a quick buck. Because email is a big brand touchpoint, be sure your newsletters offer value, something people look forward to getting in their inbox. One quick example that drives me up a wall, is when I get an email from someone who’s list I am on and right below the title of the email I see “Please do not reply to this email” under it. (See screenshot below) I haven’t even opened up the stinking email yet and you are telling me that you want me to read your email, but you are too good for me to respond! Not good…
Brand touchpoints are just as real offline as online. People are making judgements about you within the first 9 seconds of meeting you. This is why understanding personal branding is so important. Knowing that people forming an image about you in their mind about how you walk, stand, talk, smell, what you wear, etc. will help you be prepared before you ever go into a business meeting or whatever you find yourself in. This is also why having the right people skills are so very important. You need to know how you interact with people and how to make the overall experience with you the best possible. The way this is done effectively is offer value, make it about them. Many that have come to my workshops have learned that their is an sequence of how to talk to someone to break down all walls, so that you can deliver your brand message without that person ever feeling like they are being sold to. The goal should be to stand out in such a way that people know you create value wherever you go.
The point to really focusing on these brand touchpoints is, if you spend the time to improve these, you will be leaps ahead of your competitors. Think about it, if you are the person that always makes an effort to ask them how they are doing and show real interest and your competitors don’t do this, how much more are you going to stand out? Even just smiling and being nice makes a difference, as we saw with the restaurant that closed because they were not nice. It is these little things that create strong loyalty to your brand.
Don’t ever forget: “People Are Watching You To See If They Want To Do Business With You!” So make every experience they have with you count!
In part 2 will will be discussing more brand touchpoints that are rarely thought about with big companies and small businesses. So take a moment and look at how your brand touchpoints are currently, could they use some improvement?
Go out and Rule Your Realm!