A Guide to Developing a Strong Brand-Customer Relationship

It’s well-established that brand-customer relationships revolve around being more human to establish a genuine connection with customers. 

Unfortunately, the business industry seems to have long forsaken this mindset. As a result, brands tend to rely extensively on modern technologies for their customer relationships. While it does help to a certain extent, it defeats the purpose of developing a relationship. 

With this guide, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of brand-customer relationships, giving you an edge that can put your brand in a better position to acquire and retain customers. Before diving in, here’s a refresher on customer relationships. 

An overview of brand-customer relationships

A brand-customer relationship refers to the impression your customers have of your brand. So, it answers the question, ‘What does your customer feel about a brand?’

Usually, it can go one of two ways: they either feel grateful for your brand or complain about your services. In the case of the latter, your brand-customer relationship most certainly needs some work. Fortunately, much like how you can empower employees and improve agent experience, you can also change how your customers see your brand with the right strategy. But of course, that won’t be easy, mainly because brand-customer relationships are much more complex than you may think, seeing as how there are different types of customer relationships. 

Different types of brand-customer relationship 

As simple as it may seem, there’s much more to brand-customer relationships than meets the eye. Depending on your past interactions, you can categorize customer relationships into four types: 

  • Transactional 

A transactional relationship occurs when an individual conducts a single transaction with your brand, nothing more, nothing less, making them a one-time customer. 

For example, if your brand sells software using a one-time payment model, most of your customers would have this type of relationship with your brand as they would only need a single transaction to enjoy your services unless they purchase your other products. In that case, the brand-customer relationship would turn from transactional into long-term. 

  • Long-Term 

A long-term relationship is the exact opposite of the transactional type, since it means your customer has been interacting or engaging with your brand for quite some time. 

For example, managed IT service providers enter a contract with their clients that lasts for several years. Hence, you can say they have a long-term relationship with their customers. 

  • Self-Service/Automated 

This type of brand-customer relationship is built when a brand has no direct interaction or connection to customers, as they already have what they need in the platform.

For example, if your brand manages and maintains a website yet you don’t interact with its visitors, you’re essentially establishing a self-service or automated type of relationship. Once you engage in any interaction, you’re developing a stronger brand-customer relationship, which can either be long-term or community-based. 

  • Community-Based 

A community-based relationship comes from treating your customers as a whole and not as individuals. Rather than addressing each customer’s concerns, you involve the entirety of your customer base so they can help each other. For example, when you open a forum, you’re essentially creating a community where each customer can share their concerns. 

While it does add to the complexity of this subject, you must sort out the type of relationship your brand currently has with a customer before you take steps in developing that relationship. Now that you know how complex brand-customer relationships can be, you might be wondering if there truly are any merits to developing a stronger relationship with your customers. 

Importance of brand-customer relationship to a business 

These days, business owners tend to focus on marketing or product development. However, the success of a brand largely depends on the relationship it builds with its customers over time. 

Here’s a closer look at what a strong customer relationship can do for your business: 

  • Reduces customer churn 

Customer churn refers to the number or percentage of customers you lose as opposed to the customers you obtain. For example, if 100 people subscribed to your software within a week, and eight of them canceled their subscription shortly after, the churn rate would be 8%. Naturally, your goal is to reduce the churn rate as much as possible, and developing a stronger brand-customer relationship is perhaps the most effective method. 

  • Increases the customer lifetime value 

Customer lifetime value (CLV) measures how much revenue you can gain from a particular customer over their entire relationship with your brand. Since loyal customers with high CLV spend more money on a brand, you must aim to maximize CLVs, and a solid brand-customer relationship is an effective way to go about it. 

  • You can gain insights from customers 

Apart from improving the KPIs (key performance indicators) mentioned above, you can also gain insights from your customers if you build a strong enough relationship with them. 

These insights can then go a long way in helping you develop or enhance your products and services, which can positively impact other KPIs like sales. 

  • Enables organic marketing 

Once you establish a strong enough relationship with your customers, they’re bound to become advocates or cheerleaders that constantly spread positive word of mouth about your brand to their friends, families, and acquaintances. Experts call this organic marketing, and it’s one of the best ways to get your brand name out there on the market. 

Much like other aspects of your brand, your customer relationships can go a long way in growing your business. For that reason, as challenging as it may be, you must continue to develop stronger and more meaningful relationships with your customers. However, you must remember a single misstep can be catastrophic to your customer relationships. 

Ways to develop a strong brand-customer relationship 

Much like your relationship with loved ones, your relationship with customers may change according to your behavior, conduct, and practices. If you want to enjoy the benefits mentioned earlier, you must first change how you behave towards your customers. 

Here’s a closer look at some of the best practices to develop a strong brand-customer relationship:

  • Establish a connection with the customers 

A relationship starts with a connection. For that reason, you must establish ways to connect with your customers. There are several ways to approach this. For one, you can add a Contact Us button on your platforms. You can also interact with them regularly on your social media channels via polls or interactive posts. Once you establish a connection, the following practices should become a lot more viable. 

  • Facilitate regular events 

An excellent way to establish a stronger relationship with customers is through events that involve your customers, which can be anywhere from a contest to a charity event. 

Not only are these programs fun, but they also promote loyalty and can be an excellent team-building exercise if you involve your employees. You’re also providing your customers a chance to build connections with one another, which can go a long way in developing a community based on your brand.  

  • Seek feedback regularly 

Apart from providing valuable insights concerning your products and services, seeking feedback is the perfect gesture to show that you care about your customers’ experience. You can approach this in many ways. You can create a poll, send out surveys, or create a group or forum. 

  • Find ways to reward your customers 

There’s no better way to show your concern over your customers’ experience than by simply rewarding them with incentives. You can incentivize them by simply offering a gift on their next purchase, hosting giveaways, or regularly handing out discounts to regular customers. These steps may cost you a bit of money, but the payoff is most certainly worth it. 

  • Make use of CRM tools 

While it’s true that the use of tools alone isn’t enough to reach your goal, they can at least get you closer to it. Tools like customer-relationship management (CRM) systems should be plenty of help in making your customer relationships better than they currently are. A CRM system also promotes customer data privacy, which would be essential in the long term. 

These five practices are some of the best ways to develop a strong brand-customer relationship. However, how you establish a genuine connection with your customers is up to you. 

Wrapping up 

These days, brands tend to think lightly of customer relationships and assume that they can solve them with a CRM solution. Unfortunately, diving headfirst into brand-customer relationships is not a good idea to begin with. With this guide, you can equip yourself with the knowledge you’ll need to develop a strong relationship with your customers successfully.