Have you hugged your pet crocodile recently?

Deep in the Costa Rican jungle, a fisherman named Chito rescued a crocodile that had been shot and left for dead.He brought it home and stayed by its side for months, nursing him back to health. He named the croc Pocho. When it came time to let Pocho return to the wilds, the animal didn’t want to leave his friend and got out of the water and followed Chito home.

It’s been 20 years since Chito saved Pocho.  Over this period, Pocho has come to trust Chito, comes when his name is called, they play wrestle and hug on a daily basis.  It’s a bond that Chito says took years to forge.

A good customer relationship goes a long way

In the world of b2b, customer relationships often take a long time to flourish and once you have one you don’t want to lose it.  It’s important to hug your customers, but also to treat them differently than prospects.

Hugging customers is more than simply communicating with the buyers of your products or services.  It’s more than relationship marketing or CRM technology.  Like Chito, without the emotional, creative and engaging components of hugging, all you really have is a bunch of customer names in a database to whom you pump out messages.

In fact, at Mobium, we feel hugging your customer goes way beyond building close customer and stakeholder relationships at all levels of the customer organization.  It’s about using that relationship to migrate customers through stages to turn them into advocates for your brand.

Develop a plan for hugging

It’s all about developing communications programs that move first-time customers to become occasional buyers, then on to be loyal customers and hopefully even further onward to become active advocates for your brand.  And once they become advocates, you need to give them information, incentives and platforms they need to refer others to you.  There’s nothing better than your customers sharing their successful experiences and applications of your products and services with your prospects.

Do all this hugging stuff right and like Chito, you’ll have a brand advocate for life.

Read more about ways to hug your customers in the Mobium e-book, Embrace.  Click here to download it.

Photo credit: Flickr — Reza Ahmeds

2 Responses

  1. Kay Martin says:

    Yeah I’d say Pocho sounds like a good friend to have. I still wouldn’t want to hug that thing tho! Nice story Bob

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