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Do Your Customers Like You?

This is a complicated question. You might think it’s important for your customers to like you. You want them to see your brand and feel well disposed to it, to regard your business as a friend. This sounds like the way to capture their loyalty, and ensure dominance in your field, as customers fall in love with you and flock to you.

In fact, there are several different positive responses customers could have to your brand, and liking it is the least complicated and perhaps the least helpful. The response you want from your customers depends on the industry you’re in, and the image you are trying to cultivate for you brand. If you’re offering financial services for example, you’re looking for trust far more than likeability. People need to trust you in order to work with you to borrow mortgage, and feel confident that they’ve not missed any fine print and there won’t be negative consequences down the line.

If you’re working in the B2B sphere, the best response you can look for from customers when they see your branding is respect. If a business is going to retain your services, whether it’s to advise on their structure and plans or replace their IT infrastructure, they need to respect your expertise so that’s the key value you need to cultivate above all others. At times this is directly opposed to being likeable, but a consultant that can’t give bad news and have it respected is ineffective their business isn’t going to be successful.

Ultimately all of these responses are measures of customer satisfaction: when you make promises do you fulfil them? This covers both direct, literal promises like “we’ll have an engineer with you tomorrow” and the more nebulous promises your brand makes. In brief, are you what you purport to be. If you are, word will spread and happy clients will recommend you. If you can’t cash the cheque your branding writes, you’re soon going to find yourself in trouble.

How do you make sure your customers like you, trust you and respect you? You need to measure your net promoter score. This is a simple, easy to grasp measure of your customers’ loyalty and satisfaction about your brand. It’s something a market research company could run once, in the wake of a big rebrand for you, but you’ll get more from it if you keep your NPS surveys running over time, and you can see how they fluctuate in response to decisions you make as well as factors beyond your control. As time goes on you will start to understand how your consumers will respond in advance, so you will be able to make informed decisions and boost their loyalty in your brand.