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Are your customers feeling the love?

Are your customers “Feeling the Love” – and not just on Valentines day? Do they get all warm and fuzzy about you? Or are left with little or no real emotion at all? Could be time for a little relationship maintenance. In fact, in times of economic downturn, there is nothing more important than a solid relationship with your existing customers. You don’t want to be loosing the ones you’ve got, because someone else has lured them away. In fact, the cost to acquire a new customer is 5-10 times greater than the cost of retaining an existing one. In recessionary times, people can change their buying behaviour if they are not fiercely loyal. You want to be the one they stick around for.

One of the best things you can do (and hopefully have been doing all along) is to invest your time in asking for and responding to customer feedback – both positive and negative. This is the secret to building a network of product evangelists who keep on giving back to your business. Brand evangelists communicate with customer in their space. And they just keep on spread’in the love!

Customers form an emotional connection with brands they have a deep affinity for. From there, they move on to become brand evangelists. Think Apple, Lululemon, Vancity and Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC). The key is this: When someone tells another person about a product or service they love, they don’t do it because they want that company to succeed, they do it to help their friend. They share information and resources as a way of supporting each other, not the particular brand. This is a conversation you want to ‘be at the heart of.’

Check out these testaments to feel’in the love:

Apple: http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/multimedia/2006/04/apple_fans
(Seen anyone running around with YOUR logo tattooed on their back lately?)

Vancity: http://www.changeeverything.ca/about
(Or how about knowing your customers are causing social and environmental change in their community using your brand as a catalyst?)

Mary Charleson

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