Loyalty Magic That Gives Customers a Happily Ever After
Once upon a time, brands knew that creating customer happiness and long-term loyalty was more than just a fairytale concept. But somewhere along the way, with the advent of social media, smartphones and the always-on consumer, brands shifted their focus to keeping up with technology and forgot about the magic. As a result, the interactions they provided lost their luster and customers lost their patience.
With 25 percent of consumers switching their allegiance to another brand after just one bad experience, it’s more important than ever for companies to get things right the first time — or risk losing valuable business. As well as understanding whom their customers are and what they need, brands must also remember when, how and why they last spoke, to deliver the personalized, joined-up and engaging conversations their customers demand.
So what lessons can we learn from age-old fairytales that still hold resonance in today’s connected world?
Rumpelstiltskin: The Power of a Name
We all know how irritating it is when a company gets our name wrong, whether it’s the spelling or pronunciation. But what else are marketers missing when it comes to understanding who their customers are and how can they use this information to spin straw into gold?
By listening to interactions across channels, marketers can build detailed profiles to help determine the next-best conversation with a customer. For example, someone researching a new car may repeatedly visit a dealer’s website looking at a particular model, download the car finance options or follow the dealer on Twitter. Already, this user is providing insights into preferences at an early, “anonymous” stage. This could result in tailored and relevant information being displayed during the next online visit, such as a direct link to the test drive form.
Once a user has registered an account, contacted the dealer or visited the showroom, an enhanced profile can be created, equipping the dealership with an insight-rich conversation. This can be used to deliver bespoke and personalized communications in line with the individual’s needs, based on that moment in time. Why hasn’t John booked that test drive? What did he say to the salesperson on the forecourt and how does this relate to his research online? Joining the dots helps marketers tell a story and identify the best way to act on valuable insights to progress the conversation.
Snow White: Vanity Can Be Highly Destructive
Complacency can be devastating. Just because a company’s customer service record is currently exemplary, doesn’t mean they will always retain the title of “fairest in the land.” Constantly re-evaluating, scrutinizing performance and adapting to changing circumstances are vital to success.
For marketers to create strong and lasting customer relationships and keep engagement high, they must continually and consistently listen to consumer interactions for each and every customer, and adjust conversations to accommodate their needs. Individual customers are on their own unique journeys, which can change over time, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Setting false expectations can also be a dangerous game that results in disgruntled customers. Presenting a shiny apple that turns out to be poisonous could present the perfect opportunity for another brand to sweep them off of their feet. Research shows that 30% of customers will be so irritated by a bad experience that they decide to warn others by sharing the tale of their woe.
The Frog Prince: Patience Is No Virtue
Today’s on-demand, omnichannel, multi-device customer requires speed and real-time interactions. How many of us are prepared to wait for an indefinite period of time to find an elusive prince? Customers are no longer restricted by lengthy and complex switching processes; for example, between banks or insurance providers, they can hop from one to the other easily and quickly. So businesses must keep up with their demands to retain loyalty.