More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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How Local Businesses Create Legendary Customer Relationships


Admit it.

You?d love to have an army of eager, passionate customers. The kind that tells anyone and everyone they meet about your business.

These customers are in love with your product or service.

They trust you implicitly, never haggling or complaining about price. They buy often, spending more money each time. They beg and fight for the opportunity to buy more of your products. These customers are known as ?ideal customers.?

Some of these customers are so devoted they tattoo their favorite brands on their bodies.

These tattoos are a sign

They?re a signal that a deep emotional connection has taken place. Some pundits believe something different. They believe these customer relationships are myths or fantasies.

They approach this topic with the wrong mindset.

In their world, you?re lucky if you can find a customer who?s willing to pay for your product or service.

Pretty bleak isn?t it?

This mindset comes across as needy and insecure. It?s almost as if they don?t believe their product is worth their asking price.

So it?s a good thing this isn?t true. Besides, you?re worth it, right? Of course you are.

Do your customers know that?

Your customers know you?re worth it when you?

? Supply them with the right ingredients. See, customers as a whole are selfish.

  • ?What?s in it for me??
  • ?What have you done for me lately??
  • ?How does this fix my problems??

They?re selfish because they have to be.

Buying is dangerous. Customers are conditioned to be cautious. To be skeptical. They can be cheated out of their hard earned money, used and abused, neglected. It can be as simple as buying the wrong product.

Selfishness keeps them safe.

Most customers start the relationship here. They come to you with a problem or something they want from you. If they feel you?re trustworthy then and only then, do they decide to give you money.

Most customer relationships stay here.

Relationships without ?connection? are selfish

When it comes to customer relationships there are two kinds:

  1. Constrained. I have to stay in this relationship.
  2. Dedicated. I want to stay in this relationship.

Constrained relationships: I have to stay.

These relationships keep customers glued to your business, even when customers aren?t emotionally bonded to your business. A constrained relationship has three main ingredients.

  1. A desire to be in control. Customers want to maintain the status quo. Doing that keeps them in control and free from pain.
  2. Loss aversion and regret avoidance. Customers feel intense psychological pain from losing things they value or experiencing regret. Naturally these are powerful motivators.
  3. Sunk costs. Customers are motivated to maintain the status quo if they?ve spent a considerable amount of time or money on your product or service. The greater the psychological cost, the more likely customers are to stay.

Constrained relationships keep customers connected to your business, but it isn?t enough to create an ?enviable? relationship with customers.

You?ll need to create?

Dedicated relationships: I want to stay

These relationships create emotional bonds that are deeply satisfying. They develop naturally when the right emotional incentives are in place. It?s no surprise then, that loyalty flows naturally from these relationships.

Which factors are most important?

  1. Admiration. This means customers admire what you stand for, who you are or what you do. How do you cultivate admiration in someone else? You do admirable things ? serving in ways that matter to your audience.
  2. Benevolence. Customers see that you?ll provide them with the care, guidance and protection they need. You?ll act in their best interests.
  3. Expertise. You?re able to deliver the outcome or results you?ve promised, the way you promised. You deliver on time, at the price you promised, going above and beyond to surprise and delight your customers.
  4. Integrity. When the thoughts, feelings, words and actions of your business align. This shows customers you can be trusted giving them peace of mind and self forgetfulness.

This is great and all, but things get dicey when it?s time to apply all of this.

What does this look like?

Check out the rest of Andrew's post here to see his examples and what you can do to help clients develop legendary customer relationships.

Thanks Garrett, anxious to read. You guys always come up with such interesting topics to explore!

Click over to the site where there is lots more in store.
The image of the Tough Mudder is priceless!

Anyone have a chance to read yet? If so, weigh in below.

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