We have trained almost 10,000 people in the past ten years in relationship marketing through our business, yet even today I was amazed how much a relationship can make an impact in my decisions.
I was getting my car fixed at Midas in Carmel, IN and I needed a place to get breakfast and do some work. As I came out of the store, I realized I was an equal walk between Blu Moon Café and Eggshell Bistro. I didn’t think about it, but started walking South to Eggshell Bistro.
I love Blue Moon Café. No, now that I think about it, I like Blu Moon Café. Their food is great, their service is good and their Panini’s are really some of the best of I have ever had. So why did I go to Eggshell? Simple. I really don’t have a bond or relationship with the staff. They are cordial and efficient, I have been there over 50 times and I still don’t have a relationship with them.
So without thinking, I headed South instead of North. How many of your customers are doing this too? How many of your customers are good customers spending consistently with you but walk South instead of North because they don’t have a relationship with you?
Hear me again…the Blu Moon Café is a fine café. They execute very well but they don’t have a relationship development strategy and that is the difference from them being very good and being great. Your regular customers are your evangelists for your brand. They are your front lines for the word of mouth marketing that will get you all the customers you ever want if you are good at what you do and you value them enough to bond with them.
Business is not and cannot be separate from relationships because human beings are not built that way. It’s simple to get to know your people. Don’t be afraid of making them friends and building a relationship with them. It will keep them heading North instead of South.
I will point out that Eggshell is also very good. Coffee was great, service was awesome (doting and welcoming to the point where you felt served) and the food was solid. Breakfast in Carmel just got a whole lot tougher.