When thinking of what makes a great friend, trust and honesty often comes as top attributes.
They are essential elements in any fruitful and long-lasting relationship with other people.
A great brand is like a great friend, wherefore trust and honesty also are key ingredients in the build-up a strong and successful brand. A brand is built upon experiences and expectations in the mind of a person. The brand promise is the central point where a brand will make it or break it.
Promises are easy to make but the essential thing is if the promise is kept. A good friend that doesn’t keep his promises will sooner or later be replaced by somebody else.
The same goes with brands.
To build trust, satisfaction and customer loyalty, a brand has to deliver upon its promises. A customer might forget you once for a broken promise or expectations that was not fulfilled, but rarely twice.
The advice is simple. Under-Promise. Over-Deliver.
By giving your customers a little bit more than they expect you will not only ensure them memorable experiences but they will also become loyal brand ambassadors that talks fondly about your brand. That will build invaluable trust and commitment.
A company with high brand trust and customer loyalty is Starbucks. Starbucks use a motto of "Surprise and Delight" to win and retain its customers. This means both an unwavering commitment to a consistently great customer experience as well as giving customers free coffee on their birthdays, fun free applications or to offer a complimentary sandwich when the favourite one was finished. Small gestures that makes a customer feel special creates memorable moments and a trusted brand relationship.
Lets take a look at some ways of how you can "Under-Promise and Over-Deliver" or "Surprise and Delight" customers.
Or simply, how to WOW them!
1. Freebies. No need to go for the big things, simple gestures and small gifts also works well. The key that is should be unexpected.
2. A personal check-in. A personal email or call to a customer after the purchase, just to check that everything is ok. Or sending birthday cards to customers and congratulate them on their big day, a voucher can be added as well.
3. Rewards. Create a loyalty clubs with interesting rewards that encourage repurchase.
4. Bring a friend promotions. Design attractive 2-for-1 offers where customers can use your services or products together with their friends.
5. Events. Sponsor events where your customers can attend for free to see their favourite artists.
6. Compassionate service. Show sincere care and attention to customers and their issues, no matter how small it might seem.
7. 100% customer satisfaction. If a customer is not happy, make sure that your staff is empowered to do whatever they can to make them happy again, on the spot.
8. Handwritten Thank You note. A personalized and handwritten thank you note to customers after a purchase, an experience, a complaint or a visit to your store is a powerful tool to create brand trust.
A customers brand trust is not created overnight but through many interactions with a brand over a longer period of time. Make sure your brand promise is always kept and that those interactions are filled with satisfaction, surprise and delight. You will then become a trusted brand, like a great friend.