A relationship is something you often think of when you are close to someone or when you've made a connection with a person.
In business the relationship with your customers is what keeps them coming back to you for years to come.
If you are capable of building a strong relationship at every stage of your customers experience that bond will grow until you've developed a sort of cult like following with them.
If you think about companies with raving fans like Apple they have a core group of customers who will use their products no matter what.
They release products and are completely sold out within minutes and by just having one of these products you are a sort of "cool" status symbol.
Now how do we develop the relationship with the consumer to that high of a degree? It starts with being hyper aware of exactly what the customer journey through your funnel looks like.
From that what does the experience look like? Are they complaining or dropping off at any point? Is there anything unique that makes them go "wow" when they get off the phone with you or leave from a consultation?
You can start to understand by putting yourself into the shoes of the consumer. Work through your funnel from your social channels, to your website, email, phone call and if you have one initial consultation.
As you're working through this write everything down. What's boring? Indifferent? Irritating? What does your content say about you? Is everything congruent?
Take each of these things and adjust and modify based on what you see and what feedback says about your brand. The relationship is developed by providing an incredible experience, over delivering on what you offer and then continuing to wow them long term.
For example, in the boutique gym industry, like the CrossFit industry, it's common practice to have someone in for a consultation before they attend classes. Now going from the consultation straight into classes makes it hard to develop that 1-on-1 relationship.
To combat this and separate us from the pack we have a 3 session assessment and a 1-on-1 fitness for life foundations program the client has to complete before they can move into group classes.
This allows us to attach the client with a coach and allows the coach to develop a strong relationship with the client before they enter group classes. Then in group classes they still meet with their coach anywhere from 4 times per year all the way up to 1 time per week.
In terms of client happiness and longevity this is the best thing we've ever done and moves us out of the commodity market and into a market that we own and have created for ourselves. It's not about the class at that point it's about the relationship and level of comfort approaching the coach with anything.
If you are truly interested in developing a relationship with your consumers it takes looking at your entire pipeline and understanding friction points, opportunities to wow the consumer and always being aware of what they say and how they feel.
The more opportunities you have to showcase your unique brand personality the better the relationship will build in the long run.
Gone are the days when companies could just hire automated machines to handle communication and outsource help centers.
Because by outsourcing, though you save money, you can never get them to understand the flow of your brand and where you want it to be. Customers will pay more for an experience or the ability to talk with someone they can relate to.
Be REAL. Be HUMAN. Be SOCIAL