I am a huge promoter of technology and innovation; they make life better, faster and more efficient however, it’s vital not to underestimate the need for balance between innovation and a personal connection.
For instance, last weekend my daughter had us drive an hour to have breakfast down the shore. While the food is undeniably tasty and the vibe quirky and fun, the real draw is the way they make you feel; the way that they know your name, chat with you at your table, bring you coffee while you wait in line, and make you feel like you are the most important person that walked through the doorway that morning. They have irrefutably created an emotional brand connection through their personal touch and stellar customer service, validated by the parade of loyal customers that line out the door waiting for their turn to share in the experience.
Creating a positive, emotional connection with customers will take you further to establishing a long-term relationship than any other strategy you could roll out.
Here are 3 ways you can create an emotional brand connection through extraordinary service, and taking a genuine interest in your customer base.
1. Listen. Jot down the nuggets they share about their life. For instance, if you know their son is a little nervous about joining Little League for the first time; ask how he’s doing. Everyone wants to feel they’re important enough to be remembered and that people genuinely care.
2. Court Your Prospects. Selling is a lot like dating, you must woo prospects and hope they return the attention. You wouldn’t go out to one dinner and then ask your date to get married, would you? We know most prospects don’t make their decision about renting on the “first date” and prefer to keep their options open. One way to sway them in your direction is to court them. Check in on their search progress, send them useful moving and packing tips, a calendar of local events and, invite them to an upcoming resident gathering so they can experience the vibe of your community. Believe me, this extra effort is noticed.
3. Date Your Residents. I don’t mean literally date your residents, just don’t stop courting them once they become a resident. Apply the same wooing fundamentals you used when they were a prospect to establish a long-term resident relationship. Be keen to the things that are important to them, be thoughtful, be kind, and take pride in providing an experience that is superior to your competitors.
You don’t need new product, lots of amenities or, big budgets to provide your customers what they really want – a connection that is both meaningful and memorable. If you accomplish that, you’ll have created loyalty through emotional branding that rises above the tide and stands the test of time.
Marla Posey, CPM®, HCCP®, Founder & CEO of SPARK Multifamily Consulting® and SPARK Multifamily Learning® has had the pleasure of holding positions from onsite Leasing Consultant to corporate Vice-President of Property Management, before launching SPARK in 2015. She is a proud NAAEI faculty member, author, motivational speaker, corporate trainer, tech and trend geek, regular contributor to industry publications. She believes in innovation, modern ideas, progressive thinking and technology-driven education, and has built the SPARK Multifamily brands around these core elements.