Editor's Notes : What Do Your Customers Love?February 2013 By Thorin McGee
It's the season of valentines, when people show love by giving their partners something they'll love. In some partnerships that's trickier than others, but most couples manage to figure it out.
What if you had to do that for your customers? Could you? Do you know what your customers love?
This question impacts every aspect of marketing—from your brand persona to products, offers and your every marketing message.
Our "Famous Last Words" columnist Denny Hatch likes to say that your customers should be "delighted" to do business with you. The idea is your customer service must be so good it makes customers fall in love with buying from you, so they actively want to come back and buy from you again. If you get that love, the job of selling to them is much easier. You've created the mental association that shopping with you will make them happy, and that's a special place to be.
Let's apply that thinking to offers, branding and messaging. Before spending time with your customers in the service cycle, what can you offer them that they'll love so they're excited to start that relationship with you in the first place?
Do your customers love your products? Would they be delighted by a two-for-one offer or an exclusive premium product?
Do your customers love your prices? Would they be delighted by deep discounts or free shipping?
Do your customers love what you stand for? Would they be delighted to hear you're saving the environment or cutting waste? (Measures like the ones Sprint has taken in our cover story.) Or would they love to see your employees living your brand's lifestyle on video?
Each of those elements of attraction create different messaging opportunities.
It's easy in direct marketing to focus on numbers. But marketers can lose sight of the fact that a customer relationship is just that—a "relationship." Sometimes you have to know the gift that makes their eyes sparkle—not just because it's a great "door-buster" offer, but because it's exactly what they love.
“You’ll never be able to write a process rule or a line of computer code that requires an employee to delight customers; the employee has to want to delight customers.”
—Don Peppers, Jan. 14 in a LinkedIn Today article, “4 Types of Customer Interactions to Plan For”