Create the Echo of a Thousand Good Times
Two companies that sell exactly the same thing at the same price. In one, cclients get an intuitively warm feeling, making them want to linger and return often. The other leaves clients intuitively cold, wanting to depart quickly and not return. It marks the difference between a company that leaves clients cold and a company that produces an intuitively warm feeling in its client culture.
In the warmer, inviting company there is an intangible “echo of a thousand good times” as if you can feel the spirit of clients just like you who had been there before and been treated right. Translating this feeling means creating tangible proof points of three committed relationships that are clearly precious to the company: The relationship between your company and your clients, between your company and your employees, and between your company and your local communities.
The relationship between your company and its clients would be seen, for example, by celebration of any significant event in client’s lives – the company is aware of these things because it is close enough to the client and cares enough. It celebrates it to the client and in some cases celebrates it about the client in its own company. The relationship between a company and its employees is important because clients are made up of people who are employees of other companies themselves. They are naturally supportive of any company that treats its own staff with respect and affection. It is seen, for example, in the celebration of its own employees significant life events- a celebration that reaches the client because a company this close to both its own people and its client wouldn’t put a barrier between the two.
The relationship between a company and its communities is important because the client belongs to these communities too and will notice if the company gives back to the environment from which it takes revenue. Support of local charities is an example of this but it’s not about giving money as much as giving time and intelligence – providing the expertise that it sells to the client for free. And it’s not only the support of local charities but the communities themselves: spotlight what is right and stand up for what needs to be fixed.
These relationships slop over traditional lines of demarcation in the relationship between a company and its client, but it isn’t sloppy in presentation – just enthusiastic and often informal – genuine, not calculated.
Always Do This
- Show tangible evidence of the relationship the company and its clients. Publicly celebrate client life events so other clients can see it.
- Show tangible evidence of the relationship between the company and its employees. Place recruitment collateral in the branches and in client sections of the website that show the respect and affection you have for your people. Publicly celebrate employee life events so clients can see it.
- Show tangible evidence of the relationship between the company and its local communities. Highlight both major employers and small businesses. Shine a light on the best of the community and advocate for – and participate in – improvement. Show that you intimately know what life is like within the communities you serve.