Oh no, it’s that time of year again! Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Birthdays, Christmas can often seem like a marketing ploy to get us to spend more. To buy things we do not need, at twice the price we want to pay. To be wooed by companies who don’t even notice us most of the time.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some heart-warming ways to make your clients feel special all year long, by telling a brand story with captivating marketing content which pulls at the heart strings every step of the way!

1. Show a friendly face

Life can be very impersonal. We’re constantly being bombarded by digital messages about products and solutions when all we want is connections with real people.

I decided to stop going to my usual garage some time ago, being addressed as ‘the silver Peugeot’ rather than by name. This might be a convenient way to label a customer but did not make me feel very special! Rebecca and Mike, the owners of my new garage, Motech, https://www.motech.co/ address me as Katherine, give me expert advice and always go the extra mile!

I recently visited two of my favourite local shops in Whitchurch, Hampshire, where I live. As usual, I was welcomed with a genuine and welcoming smile by two of the loveliest ladies, Marsha in Velvet Rose (who makes and stocks gorgeous and unusual vintage outfits and gifts) http://marshaswanzy.com/ and Tracey in The Handbag Shop https://www.facebook.com/The-Handbag-Shop-157089311101348/ (who sells scrumptious Italian leather handbags and discerning presents I can’t find anywhere else). They cannot do enough for me!

When I walked into my favourite café, Pret A Manger, soaked through, one rainy Saturday, I was greeted with a smile and a coffee on the house, something I still remember to this day. They always make sure when a kind word comes in about their team, they are rewarded a silver tiffany star. What a lovely idea!

2. Be kind

It’s my birthday soon and I have been getting leaflets through my letter box reminding me that as I am getting another year older, so why not invest in some more health insurance? This little gift from Marks & Spencer, of a free coffee and cake, was so very thoughtful! Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, this kind and generous act made me feel like a VIC (very important customer!)

3. Be consistent 

One of my favourite companies Timpson, the UK shoe repair and key cutting empire, is consistently kind to everyone, from the Chairman down. I wrote a blog about them last year http://copythatsells.co.uk/whats-love-got-5-ways-win-customers-hearts-business-story/

They guarantee a friendly face and great service whenever I walk through their door. Every one of their staff practises caring values.  They care very deeply for their staff. Alex Timpson, the late wife of the Chairman, John Timpson encouraged her husband, to introduce an enlightened system of rewards and perks for their staff – not least a day off on their birthdays and a free seaside holiday with their families. They run a ‘happy index’ every year which asks employees if they are being treated fairly and only recruit people with the right personality using a Mr Men recruitment policy (“I’m looking for Mr Men characters: I want Mr Sparky and Mrs Keen, I don’t want Mr Grumpy or Mrs Dull. It’s about employing people who need a leg up — 10% of our people are ex-offenders” said John Timpson recently.)  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39653431

Timpson also help unemployed people back to work by offering suit dry-cleaning services free of charge. At every touchpoint, inside and out, their caring values shine through. We can all learn lessons from this wonderful company.

4. Don’t be afraid to say sorry

How many times have we complained to a contact centre or someone serving us or delivering something and been told ‘that’s not my fault? That’s not my job’. A book company delivered a lot of books, falling out of a wet box, to my door before Christmas. When I complained, the courier said their employer just did not care and therefore why should they? How did that make me feel about that brand? Not good. I have not ordered from them since.

If you make your brand story all about the love and care you have for your customers, then why would you not want to show a bit of humility and make amends?

5. Love your customer and tell them often

So wherever, whoever and however you are talking to clients or prospects, make sure you value them highly, listen to then and treat them with courtesy and respect. Tell them often

I like to remind myself at least once a day that my lovely clients enable me to do the job I love (content marketing and storytelling) for the people who appreciate my help. If I can help them in any way I can, what’s not to love about that? Tell that story.

Katherine Ledger is a Content Marketer, business storyteller and the owner of Copy That Sells. If your story doesn’t reflect your true personality and heart towards your customers she’ll help you pan out your business’s gold nuggets and write them into marketing content which wins clients’ hearts. Reach her at copythatsells.co.uk ,  +44 (0) 7703 545117, Katherine@copythatsells.co.uk, https://uk.linkedin.com/in/katherineledger

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