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Loyalty that earns word of mouth with Susan Baier

Lead Nurturing| Existing Clients| Team Relationship Building
October 17, 20226 min read

Emotional loyalty (people who do business with you because they LOVE working with you) is hard to create and maintain because it’s expensive and it takes time. Creating experiences that are engaging and delightful enough to spark the desired emotional connection is a necessity in today’s market where customers have unlimited options. You must do more than just make sure you’re being good at what you do. You must give them a reason to LOVE working with you in a way that ignites their desire to tell everyone how amazing you are.

In a recent study, conducted by Audience Audit, 57% of agency owners reported they lost clients in 2021. 48% of them say they have programs in place to reduce this attrition. However, most of those programs involve on-going reporting of work conducted, reporting of program performance, and regular satisfaction check-ins by senior agency leadership – again, being good at the products and services they provide.

We recently had an opportunity to talk with Susan Baier, CEO of Audience Audit, for our latest conversation with agency owners around the challenges and successes they face building relationships. Susan’s superpower is being able to make market research FUN so that her clients enjoy the process! In the Market Research industry, it’s not hard to get lost within focusing on being best in class with your offering and overall service. While being good at market research is great, in this space, you don’t get a chance to prove it unless you can create the kind of relationship that makes people trust you enough to invest.

Creating Emotional Loyalty

Comfort and Trust

If you’re familiar with market research, it’s possible you have a negative reaction to the thought of it. Susan shared that many of her clients have previously had bad experiences with research. This poor experience can be due to several things – sometimes, something gets lost in translation, the client doesn’t exactly understand how to use the data provided, or the researcher may not have a marketer’s perspective to help with the results. No matter the reason, it can take years for people to be comfortable enough again to make the leap and invest in research for their own company or their clients.

Susan has created the Audience Audit brand in a way that they are positioned as an expert that is not intimidating. Audience Audit focuses on the relationship and how they make people feel. This is very important to her, and she spends a lot of time building that trust. She shares that she can “almost hear the sighs of relief the first time she cracks a joke and people realize they can relax.” She trusts that people will work with her when the time is right. They realize this will be a different experience. She makes sure that people see that Audience Audit is fun and easy to work with, knowing the results will speak for themselves. What Susan has spent time curating is a solid base of clients who are emotionally loyal to her brand. The emotional connection she creates with each person is the key to her business growth and the well-earned word of mouth as each of her connections readily rave about her work.

Right before Covid, Audience Audit’s business experienced huge growth. “The work really exploded”, says Susan. At the same time, it created challenges for Audience Audit’s high touch approach because they grew faster than they could staff up to maintain. She recognized quickly that it was important for her to outsource their relationship building efforts to ensure they continued to build the trust required to deliver these amazing results.

Consistent Approach to Building Emotional Loyalty

As we’ve already mentioned, Audience Audit is extremely intentional when it comes to building relationships. The key is that they consistently focus on all 3 categories of relationship: Prospects, existing clients & all other supporting relationships. Here are just a few examples of what they do to build trust and the type of brand that people love working with. The important thing about these examples is to note that they work as a complete system. Each step in building a relationship with Susan and her team is intended to make you feel more and more like family. It increases the likelihood that you will share your positive experience with others at some point.

Loyalty Building with Prospects

Susan often describes her approach to relationship building as being “relentlessly helpful”. In no other space is this more obvious than when it comes to new people! Susan thrives on sharing her wisdom, generously. This is frequently done digitally, through many platforms. However, she has also regularly mailed books and research when she feels this to be helpful.

Each year, Audience Audit sends appreciation gifts. These packages are specially curated to make the recipients feel a deeper connection with the brand. Some years they are providing inspiration/motivation and other years they reflect something more personal from Susan.

Existing Client Loyalty

When you make an investment in something like research, you want to feel the value throughout the relationship. Audience Audit lets you know this is going to be a great relationship from the start, by sending a welcome package when you become a client. This package focuses on growing from the research to be conducted and creates anticipation of what’s to come.

With the type of business that Audience Audit conducts, it’s important that the relationship does not end once the client receives their research. Susan makes sure that people are celebrated along the way. From anniversaries to birthdays to annual appreciation, Audience Audit makes sure you know they see you.

Create a Family of Ambassadors

When you’re part of the Audience Audit Team, you’re like family. Susan makes sure all relevant occasions are celebrated for her team, including being part of the annual appreciation gifting. Being fun isn’t just limited to the prospects and clients!

And finally, Susan makes sure that she shows gratitude to her advisors, mentors, vendor partners and even peers. She does this by generously showing appreciation for time or advice and even just because! Susan wants you to know you are extremely valued when you are part of her circle.

By staying true to the brand’s approach to making market research less intimidating through the relationships she’s creating, Audience Audit has enjoyed accelerated growth and created priceless relationships.

Relationships are the cornerstone of what we do at The Expressory. Let's get to know each other and find out if The Expressory can help you grow your brand through personalized experiences. Click here to set up a Marketing Strategy Session or click here to download our free guide for Creating Emotional Loyalty by Design. Let us show you how to design a unique experience that sets you apart.

Jamie Shibley

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