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The 3 Elements of Relationship Strength

How strong is your relationship with customers? And where do you look to find out?

I hear you murmuring “Customer Satisfaction Scores: they’ve gone up and up under my watch.” I’m sure they have. They go up and up under most people’s watch. Partly because people learn how to work the system – I’m not saying they’re dishonest, just that if you focus on any measure you can make it go up. That tells you something. But not enough.

You need to immerse far, far deeper in what’s going on than relying on customer satisfaction scores.

The three elements of relationship strength are:

1. Trust. Consumers believe the brand will deliver its promise, respect them and be open and honest with them
2. Commitment. Consumers feel some longer term emotional attachment to their relationship with the brand.
3. Alignment and Mutuality. A two-way affinity between consumers and the brand, with mutual respect, shared values and expectations met – which results in a continually rewarding experience.

Source: Carlson Marketing Group survey of 16,000 consumers in 2003. I read the survey findings in the book Brands & Branding, which has just been updated and re-issued.

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