What is the best strategy to attract and retain customers?
To answer a question with more questions:
- Is it a never-ending cycle of too good to be true deals? #BOGO
- Is it social media so appealing that you keep wanting more? #YOLO
- Or is it the brand experience that you’re all about? #FOMO
Customer satisfaction has been elevated to unimaginable heights given the rise of social media. While social media is nothing new, it has completely changed the way we communicate, interact and make decisions. It’s in every fabric of our lives – whether we like it or not. As soon as we start drilling down into what the implications of those changes are, we quickly realize the answers are in the data.
Access to data on customer behaviors, preferences and purchase habits show us there is more to understand than the one-size-fits-all model of generational profiles. Now our data goes further; for example, a millennial who is a workout warrior, passionate about corporate social responsibility, watches CNN and posts actively on Instagram. These audiences need non-stop attention – there is no more business as usual – any stalling or failure to comply will equal irrelevance in your customer’s mind.
While we know more, we are also exposed to more than ever before. Every decision has a consequence and we live in a world where reputation and loyalty can be shattered by one bad experience, whether your own or as seen on social media. The bonds between customer and company need to be stronger than ever. They need to attract not just one customer characteristic but a diverse set of interests and experiences while matching their beliefs. That’s asking a lot from a brand!
So the question is, how does a brand become so valuable that it will gain your loyalty for years to come?
- Listen to your customers – it sounds simple – but too many brands aren’t listening intelligently. Tools that allow you to find where the most relevant discussions are already taking place and identify the most important customer conversations can help.
- Engage with your customers. There are many ways to do it. Communicate through social media and blogs, invite them to advise on research and development, build communities around your brand that brings compatible people together based on their interests, not just age.
- Make sure the brand continually builds trust with its customers. Companies change, brands evolve and new products launch; communicating along the way is how to maintain trust.
Companies that are up for the challenge will find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It takes evaluating, reframing and pivoting toward what the future holds. It may sound intimating, but now is not the time to hesitate to do something different – it’s the leaders who blaze the paths for others to follow along. Let us help you navigate your next defining move before your competition does it for you.
This post also appears on Medium.com