Getting to know someone is one of the most exciting parts of any new relationship. Learning each other’s background, interests, and preferences helps you build a working relationship and feel closer to one another. The best relationships are those where we no longer have to explain ourselves—we have an unspoken understanding that makes the rest of our interactions effortless. It feels great to know what to expect from this person, and feel understood by them in return.
Brand and customer relationships aren’t much different. Customer intimacy means knowing each of your customer segments, and delivering on each of their specific needs. Not only does it help you better understand where your customers are coming from, but it helps them feel understood as well. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is for you to serve them, and the closer your customers feel to your brand.
Brands who excel at building customer intimacy deliver in two ways:
And customers will notice the difference. That’s what keeps them coming back again and again.
Allow me to reintroduce myself
Customers don’t want to answer the same questions every time they interact with your brand. That’s why it’s critical to collect and keep some of their information to deliver a consistent, high-quality, and personalized experience every time. But some customers may be less-than-enthusiastic about sharing that information in the first place. That’s why making sure you give them value in return is critical to building their trust and loyalty.
Once your experience has proven to be worth the cost of sharing information, customers are more likely to stay loyal. Once you prove the value, your customers have developed a relationship with your brand—and it’s often much more convenient to keep shopping with the brand who knows them, rather than re-explain themselves to someone new. And to develop that level of trust, customers need to see how your brand is using that information to create value for them, not just your brand.
Bend and not break
Creating that value—and trust—means delivering on every customer need that arises. Your CX data and insights will inform you about what your customers are saying about your brand—and it’s your responsibility to address them, no matter how often they change. That means keeping your business strategy flexible enough to pivot on the points that matter most.
Customers recognize when they’re being heard, and can feel when companies are willing to make big leaps for the sake of their needs. That means offering things like specialized service, individual and personal attention, and tailored marketing and merchandising. Speaking directly to your customers on the issues that matter the most give them the confidence that they’re a valued part of your business strategy, and know they can trust your brand to take care of them at every point in the customer journey.
The long haul
Customer relationships are critical for building a successful brand. That means remembering them when they return to your brand to deliver on their next need, and listening when they tell you what it is. Just like any relationship, communication and trust are key for building loyalty and trust. Hearing what your customers are saying, and the willingness to change how you operate to give them the best-possible experience are the two most important ways to show customers that they’re a priority. And your bottom line will notice, too.
Find out how omnichannel strategies can help your brand be a better listener and take better action. Get the full ebook on omnichannel experiences here.
VP, Client Insights