If you’ve been reading this blog series, you’ve made it through the introductory phase of building customer relationships, which is like getting to know someone. Now you’ve become acquaintances and friends — or, more accurately, they’ve become customers. They’ve chosen to spend time with you, get to know you and grow to rely on you. You’re now in the trust-building phase.
As you’re building trust with your new customers, the key is to remain consistent. Consistency creates lasting impressions. It should be approached holistically in order to build trust. The Four Cornerstones of Consistency — Messaging, Culture, Service and Delivery — let customers know that you’re someone they can rely on.
Your customers are beginning to know your personality, your skills and what makes you different. They’re becoming accustomed to how you talk and act. Build trust by maintaining a consistent voice and message. Every communication — verbal, visual or experiential — should express the brand that drove your customers to you. If it doesn’t, people become uneasy with your brand.
Today’s top leaders know that they get the best results by putting employees first. Strong cultures inspire strong relationships with customers. While places like Google and Netflix have popularized things like spa services, in-house gyms and fully stocked bars, strong cultures aren’t built on having the best perks. They’re built on trust. Foster that trust with a strong strategy that is carefully communicated throughout the organization. Your employees are just as important of an audience as your customers.
Great service leads to long-term relationships. As you’re building trust with your customers, service is perhaps the most important component in how your customers think and feel about your brand. If you’re consistent in the service you offer, your customers feel they can rely on you.
When it comes to delivery of your product, being consistent in quality and timeliness are vital. Customers chose you because of a promise you made to fill their needs. They expect that promise to be met the first time they purchase and each time after. Your product fits into a much larger ecosystem, and customers rely on delivery of your product to maintain their own efficiency.
Each of these Four Cornerstones of Consistency helps carry the load of the next. When one area weakens, it throws the rest off balance. A strong brand keeps each of these pieces in place, and keeps customers with you for the long haul.