Nurturing Brand Loyalty with the Overall Experience

It is said that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression.  Thus, what does your brand communicate and is it on target with your company’s mission and the public’s awareness of such?  If perception is reality, what actions are you actively taking each day to strengthen and leverage your brand to the desired audience?  How will you build confidence and nurture loyalty of your brand?

As someone who has a special passion for and professional experience in the cultural and tourism marketing sector, I am reminded of an important concept someone early in my career shared.  The time to impress is not when the visitor actually comes to your site, but with that initial point of contact and each interaction leading up to, during and following their visit.  What an “aha” moment of simple truth!

Reflecting on the strongest positive experiences I had with some of my own favorite destinations or companies, I realized how true this idea was.  Each person I interacted with, contributed to my overall experience and the take-away of the brand.  So, while the person answering my phone call, ringing out my sale, conducting the orchestra, or leading the tour might not have the title of “marketing coordinator,” “communications director” or the like, they each were in fact a brand ambassador.

It was the culmination of all those “little things” done well, which contributed to my take-away experience and in turn, helped to build my loyalty.  Hearing the smile in the voice on the other end of the phone as they take my call and patiently answer my questions or genuinely work through my frustration or challenges that I may be facing, in turn making that extra effort to help me.  Being proactive in addressing challenges that patrons face when encountering your organization or site, which in turn affect their overall mood and experience of such.  Upon entering the facility, enjoying a warm greeting and engagement in conversation or feeling respected and valued by the curbside appeal and cleanliness of the facility.

On the other hand, think about those stores, sites or companies that have left you feeling frustrated and stressed.  Do you want to return for a visit?  Do you want to reinforce that result with your dollars? Probably not.  Perhaps it was the surly attitude on the other end of the phone as you tried to have some of your questions answered or concerns addressed.  Maybe it was the rundown appearance of the building’s façade that caused you to question if a visit really was such a good idea.  Or perhaps you felt the value provided was not at all consistent with the experience.

It’s those simple things that Mom and Dad likely instilled in us at an early age: a smile, genuine conversation, gratitude, a joyful heart, a passion which overflows onto each part of your brand, in turn translating into my loyalty.  In fact, those simple yet ever important qualities go a long way in my book to make up for something lacking, because I am left with a confidence that it will be addressed and that my opinion and buy-in are valued.

Thus, I hope that as a Client Manager the clients with whom I am fortunate enough to work can bask in the confidence of how much I value and enjoy working with them; that they hear the smile in my voice when I answer the phone or the genuine concern I share with them when they face a challenge; that I am vested in their success and livelihood; and that my heart is filled with gratitude and joy to be doing something I love each day with such a fabulous team.