This article first appeared on PR Daily in January 2016.
When it comes to reaching customers, public relations can either be a company's best friend or its worst enemy. Building the foundation for a strong customer/business relationship comes from mutual trust and respect. The customer is the company’s lifeblood, and as such, they expect a brand’s ambassador to abide by certain rules.
Below are five rules to follow when establishing good customer relations:
1. Be consistent with the release of information
Consistency in delivery is something many customers seek from a company.
If your public relations team can be consistent with the release of company information, it will assist in captivating the minds of the public more effectively, and gain new interest in whatever product or service your company is selling. Whenever possible, try to release information on a timely basis.
RELATED: How to create a consistent message across multiple internal platforms.
2. Sell differences in the product or service
Think about what makes your client’s product or service unique. What purpose does this product or service seek to fulfill? What can this company provide that its competitors cannot?
Considering these factors helps to better sell the customer. Customers are seeking companies that offer unique services. Don't simply copy what similar brands are doing—try to invent something new.
3. Use testimonials to bolster reputation
The best PR device a company can use is word-of-mouth marketing. Though social media is good for the online market, PR pros help organizations reach a live market.
Testimonials are a good way to tap into this market. Reach out to satisfied customers in your audience; perhaps they’d willing to review the company’s product in the form of a written testimonial or show up for a live demonstration of the product at a local venue.
4. Know your audience
Having experience with multiple audiences in your chosen market is a big plus when it comes to building customer relationships.
Different markets take well to different strategies—tailoring your marketing efforts to reach various demographics of customers on a familiar level will make the relationships seem more personal. This can establish a trust between the company and its customers. Familiarity often breeds understanding.
5. Make it searchable
Here’s an area with which you can have fun—Search Engine Optimization and keywords.
In order to make your organization more searchable on Google, use catchy words and phrases that people are likely to type into search engines when seeking a new product. You can also use trending hashtags on social media sites like Twitter. This helps to give your brand exposure in multiple online areas.
Brigg Patten is a freelance writer.