The power of the consumer has increased substantially. We have witnessed a change in the hierarchies and roles where the client is directly responsible for the influence and reputation of brands.
The harmful effect that the opinion of the consumer can suppose for the brand, is much greater than before and, much more viral, too. Understanding the changes is undoubtedly the first step to establish the way to communicate:
Change the concept of trust . After the explosion of the current crisis, the “landing” of consumers before a changing and uncertain reality has made consumption much more demanding and a less impulsive act.
The key to transforming the – always thorny terrain – of interaction with clients seems to focus on dialogue and active listening. That is why now, more than ever, brands must direct their strategies towards a more active and direct communication with consumers where ‘dialogue and listening’ prevail.
For this, we present an excellent Decalogue that can surely help to start establishing the criteria and objectives of the brand-client interaction.
1.- Promotion of the brand, only if it is useful
Content and promotion yes, but personalized. Automating the promotion of our content in social profiles is not what customers and consumers are looking for, avid for information without a doubt, but also constantly seeking innovation in brands.
2.- Listen before speaking.
The only way to propose discussion topics that are interesting for our followers, is to listen actively. It is evident that active listening involves the efficient use of analysis tools, in order to ensure that the information obtained fosters dialogue based on the needs and interests of customers.
Listening before speaking, just like in real life, is very important.
3.- You have to be honest
To have confidence you have to deliver it. Again it seems obvious but it is still too common for companies to follow the “I am not responsible” policy.
This supposes a total break of any communication channel between the brand and its clients, the lack of confidence is the death of the brands.
Transparency, recognition and honesty are more than “concepts”; indispensable elements of dialogue and the interaction of brands with their target audience.
4.- Beware of the lack of ethics
The absence of values is paid with the reputation, there is nothing more harmful for a brand than being customized under a scheme to capture the trust of its followers if it does not respond to the true objectives of the business.
The users today know how to recognize it, know the tools, interact in them with total freedom. They are (and feel) responsible for the change … it is difficult to deceive them for a long time.
5.- Find the added value
Use promotions and special discounts that allow you to motivate the most active users who are linked to the community and who allow you to promote fidelity and evangelization.
Through the creation of unique content through which we are actively collaborating the education (and therefore, specialization) of users.
Whatever the variable that defines it, added value is essential to build loyalty and initiate an efficient dialogue between brands and their customers. Find it, it is the starting point for a beneficial interaction for both.
6.- The influence
It allows us to identify the degree of satisfaction of needs that our followers find in our content. It allows us to identify new areas of interest and segment them.
Both actions are essential to interact with our clients according to their needs.
7.-Build trust is prior to the “friendship”
Fulfill commitments, be honest and trustworthy, do not lie to customers, recognize (and rectify simultaneously) mistakes and constantly demonstrate that they are the most important thing for the brand. It may seem too simplistic and that’s the way it is, it’s just common sense.
8.- The need of the client, the main and only objective of the brands
The reason why the arrival of Google Panda was a varapalo for many well-positioned brands, were the demands of the search engine with respect to what is now defined as quality.
Brands must achieve with their content to respond to the specific needs of their followers, beyond the product, before the product.
Consumers demand a dialogue that really supposes a mutual benefit, the consumer experience today is the variable that keeps alive the dialogue between brands and their customers. If the client is bored, if he is not heard … he leaves.
9.- We speak of dialogue, of conversation, beware of advertising in excess
If the brands use the social networks to advertise, they will not be able to establish any channel of communication with their followers.
Social media is designed to “create relationships” and through them, keep growing. They are not designed for the brand to obtain a specific benefit from them, regardless of the link.
10.- The users talk about the brand, that’s where the interaction begins
The quality of a brand is demonstrated by its actions and the dialogue generated by what consumers say about them, we must let those who exercise power today speak about quality.
If the brand is of quality for the users, the dialogue will be established in advantageous conditions for the two parties, if not … we will lose their trust (and our reputation). That is the great challenge!