|Trust your customers to tell you: Gather Voice of Customer (VOC) research-based insights regarding how your customers define a truly personalized multichannel relationship, and which communications are most relevant at key points in their relationship lifecycle with you.|
|Understand the behaviors that equal "engagement": Use VOC insights to understand what range of actions from your side drive engagement from the consumer's side, such as recognition, personalized rewards, the opportunity to share their point of view, the chance to enter a contest, etc.|
|Be media agnostic: Offer both "old" and "new" media options your customers can select to satisfy their media preferences.|
|Measure it. Track the results carefully over time. What matters is not how many eyeballs or fans you have. It's what people are actually doing ... and buying!|
Monday, December 19, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
A "SIZE" PROBLEM IN THE SKIES
They start with the assumption that customers who complain about this are probably wrong.
They tell their employees to deal with these problems on a case-by-case basis, trusting that their (overworked) front-line service people can sort it all out. They can’t. This leads to absurd situations like the one pictured here.
TAKEAWAY #1: LET THE CUSTOMERS SPEAK!
Ask a sampling of passengers about the best way for airlines to solve this problem, and you will hear a clear consensus: People who take up two seats should be charged for two seats ... ahead of time.
Are we asking our customers the questions that will help us uncover the most irritating problems they face ... and their possible solutions? Are we listening carefully to the answers we hear?
Management’s job is to create a culture that values customers, a culture that does not start with the premise that the customer is always wrong! We must recognize customer value and have systems in place to listen to, and act on, the feedback and needs of customers.
Check to see what industry leaders and other players are already doing to address the problems that irritate your customers most. If they're doing a better job of listening ... catch up!
Monday, December 5, 2011
THE CHALLENGE: As the holiday season kicked off, online and offline marketers wasted millions of precious opportunities to engage with customers, capture preferences, and build the foundation for a year-long relationship. And most marketers relied too heavily on discounts.
Using discounting alone to drive purchases is not a strategy. It's an addiction. The result is a downward cycle: The only compelling reason for a consumer to visit the company’s store or web site is to get another discount ”fix.” The retailer becomes more and more dependent on discounts. The low-loyalty, low-information cycle deepens ... until someone else offers a better discount!
"GET 'EM IN, GET 'EM OUT"
For too many consumers, the beginning of the holiday season began with too many hassles and disappointing experiences.
Case in point: I am a long-time customer of Sheplers, the iconic cowboy outfitter. I called the company last weekend to order some shirts. While the recorded auto attendant was folksy and appealing -- “We’re just as busy as cows at a salt-lick” -- the reps were curt, transactional, and could not answer the simplest questions.
The mindset: "Get 'em in, get 'em out!” What a lost opportunity.
Here are 7 questions to help marketers move beyond the purely transactional "card-swipe encounter" this holiday shopping season.
THREE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR MARKETING TEAM
Don't get distracted by how many times you were able to take an order this year compared to a year ago. Move past the "knee-jerk discount" business model. Start by asking your team:
Question# 1: How much information were we able to gather about our brand new customers? Can we connect a specific buyer to a specific purchase? Will we be able to send relevant, personalized communications to this new customer based on capturing their preferences and interests?
Question# 2: How many of the people we sold to recently were repeat customers? How do we know? How could we increase that percentage?
Question# 3: Did we generate referrals of friends and family members? How many? What would make it easier for consumers to use social media channels to tell people in their "circle" about their buying experience with us?
FOUR POINT-OF-PURCHASE QUESTIONS
Ask each customer to respond to a few very brief questions so you can provide them with ongoing value, as defined by their individual needs/interests. Many will be happy to respond! Let the others disengage instantly if they choose. Your questions should cover these four key points.
Point # 1: Would they like to receive additional information, useful tips, or promotions regarding the product(s) they just bought? (Start with this simple question. It's easy to say "yes" to.)
Point # 2: Are there other products in the store/catalog/web site about which they would like to receive information? (If you don't ask, you'll never know!)
Point # 3: Is there any friend or family member they would like to send this information to? (Measure the number of referrals this question generates!)
Point # 4: Can we keep in touch? (As a result of offering value, you have earned the right to request the consumer's email address!)
QUESTION FOR YOU
How many more engaged current and future customers could you generate now and in the months to come ... just by asking these questions?