Mick Jagger couldn't get it, but your customers can. A legion of satisfied customers may seem ideal, but not all is as it seems in Wonderland. Beneath the smug grin of the cheshire cat lies a disturbing truth. A truth that should send shivers down the spines of CEOs everywhere.
Your customers aren't satisfied, they are indifferent.
They will use your product or service (and love your discounts) but lack a deeper emotional connection to your brand. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but they don't really care about you. It's not that they hate you, they just don't love you. When asked, they'd probably shrug their shoulders and say "yeh, they're OK", with the same lack of enthusiasm one would talk about their water company. It's not that you're doing anything wrong, but customers nowadays expect a lot. And with such rampant competition, if you aren't wowing your customers, someone else will. Instead of being content with "satisfied" customers, aspire to develop 'raving fans' - those word of mouth multipliers that no referral program can match. The pay off is worth it: Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions (McKinsey).
DON'T THINK! FEEL
The value of emotional engagement In the opening scenes of Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee slaps a young student in the face. Why? Because he failed to understand the importance of emotion. And though not the first place you'd think to look for tips on customer retention, there's a lesson in that slap.
"We need emotional content"
"Don't think! Feel."
Moving someone out of indifference, requires engaging their emotions. Engaged customers are valuable customers. They buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction and are five times more likely to purchase from that brand in the future. And here is the kicker, all that engagement triples the value to the brand over the course of a year. With the huge cost of acquisition and fierce competition, loyalty is more important than ever. The more you can do to turn satisfied customers into raving fans (those who sing your praises at every opportunity) the better. And though you can't expect to turn every customer into a raving fan, you can't afford to just be average. As Seth Godin said "Being average is for losers. To be memorable you must be remarkable."
How to turn satisfied customers into raving fans
So what exactly can be done to turns customers into raving fans?
1. Deliver on Your Promises
First things first, you have to get your basics right. That means your core offer has to be outstanding but most importantly, it is about delivering on your promises. If you promise overnight delivery, make it happen. If you advertise your service as the solution to a problem, it sure as heck better solve that problem. Delivering on your promises is the foundation of trust and without trust, loyalty is impossible.
2. Be Where Your Customers Want
With the expansion of the digital world, customers want to be able to contact you in their chosen medium. Being unable to contact a company by their preferred means probably isn't a deal breaker, but it's enough of a frustration to stop someone becoming a raving fan. Yes, multichannel customer service is tough, but your customers are looking for a consistent multichannel experience. 70% of companies ignore customer complaints on Twitter. A study by Mckinsey found that improving the customer experience from 'average' to 'wow' over multiple brand interactions lead to a 30-50% increase in value.
3. Add the Personal Touch
One of the biggest opportunities to build that connection with your customers is to add a personal touch. With 80% of consumers stating they feel brands don't understand them as individuals the impact of personalisation can be huge. This goes beyond a cookie cutter birthday email or a [First Name] tag in your newsletter. It is about connecting with your customers on a human level. As the industry pushes for widespread automation, we run the risk of losing the personal touch. Automation may be scalable but personalisation brings depth and connection. It helps to build deeper emotional connection with customers, a connection that increases loyalty and profits.
4. Surprise and Delight
The biggest reason customers have become indifferent, is that the relationship has become a little dull. Their expectations are being met, but there isn't a whole lot to write home about. Stoking that emotional connection requires going over and above. It demands being memorable, being remarkable. With the huge volume of digital communication, something as simple as putting pen to page can do just that.
When Hex sent 13,000 handwritten thank you notes, they were doing something different. They took the time to zig when the others zagged and they stood out because of it.
And standing out leads to real results.
In another example, customers who received a personalised thank you note spent $16 more per month & returned 33% less merchandise. The message here is clear. Doing something different and engaging with customers on an emotional level has a real $$$ impact.
Though you can't turn every customer into a raving fan, you can't afford not to try by showing how much you care about them. And obviously we at Pensaki are here to provide you with an option to create emotional connections at scale with your - currently - mostly indifferent customers.