There is a tendency in all aspects of our lives to treat that which is newest with the most interest, enthusiasm, and favor. Whether it’s a new shirt, a new puppy, or a new friend, it’s not uncommon to give a little more attention to the new new thing, than some of the older things we’ve had around for awhile.
And so it is with marketing. We put a lot of energy, creative thinking, and money to bring new shoppers to our store. Advertising and marketing are mostly thought of in terms of big, bold campaigns which are only successful if they grow the overall size of a brand’s audience. Just think about all those Super Bowl ads. Maybe the best example was Stephen Colbert and the pistachios ad. It was not focused on reminding all those loyal pistachio customers that they should eat a few more in a given month, rather, it was to draw the attention of everyone else to try pistachios, maybe for the first time.
EASIEST, CHEAPEST, MOST EFFECTIVE
But despite the allure of what’s new, and the thrill of big bold campaigns, the easiest, cheapest and likely most effective marketing you can do is with your existing customers. And one of the key tools in that effort is the thank you and feedback communications to customers.Blast emails with new product offerings is not the communications we’re talking about. We’re talking about more personal emails or tweets or Facebook messages to your loyal customers on a regular basis to say thanks. What we’re also suggesting is doing the same level of communication weeks after purchase to check in and ask for feedback. The benefit of the thank you is pretty well known. It adds a personal touch for your brand to separate you from everyone else who most likely is not doing it. The second kind, however, has the potential of being even more valuable. It opens a conversation with your customers. And that conversation can lead in all sorts of beneficial directions.
CUSTOMER CHECK INS – THE SECRET MARKETING ELIXIR
Let’s explore all the beneficial outcomes that can come from a periodic customer check in.
- Thank you x 2: If a personal thank you after purchase is a good brand builder, then a check in just ups that value, making your customers feel more loved.
- Heading off a complaint: When you check in, you may start a conversation with a disgruntled customer because of something your product did or did not do. Much better to have that conversation 1 on 1 and try to solve it, than have that customer voice their ill feelings in social media or to friends.
- Getting specific product feedback: You invented, designed, built, created your product, so you (think) you know why it’s awesome. But sometimes customers will surprise you. Who doesn’t love a “I love this product,” as a daily pick me up, but you’ll get much more out of a “I love this product because…” which can very easily happen in a customer check in conversation. You cam have to ask or prompt it a bit, but the lines of communication are open to get valuable customer insights.
- Share and Refer: Once you’ve identified a happy customer with a check-in communication, and started a conversation with them. You’re in a great position to see if they’d like to share on FB about your brand, write review, or pass along the good news to their friends.
- New Product Feedback: As you start more and more conversations with customers, you’ll start to notice who are the most responsive and insightful about your brand and products. So you’re now in a position to quorum a number of them into a focus group to give you feedback on products on the drawing board.
The biggest lesson here is marketing doesn’t have to be Big Data driven or the cleverest advertisement. It can be consistent efforts to engage your audience. The most valuable members of that audience are your customers and sometimes, in chasing what’s new, we don’t give them the attention they deserve and thus don’t get all the juicy marketing value out of them. Never forget, more than anyone else outside your business, these people want you to succeed and make things they like to buy. They should always be on top of the marketing priority list.
HOW LUMIARY HELPS
We believe so strongly in the power of this kind of customer engagement, that we made it a key feature in our CRM platform. Most CRM’s are dumb databases that you input data into, and then access when you need it – all based on you knowing what to do and when to do it. Lumiary not only dynamically brings in all your customer data from your E-commerce store, email provider, Google Analytics and point of sale system, but gives you reminders to reach out for a thank you or a check-in every week. We also provide recommendations for other types of engagement like for lapsed customers or for ones who’ve viewed and carted specific products.
I personally like the note taking and reminder features in tools like Evernote and Brewster, which help me keep on task and engaged with contacts. Lumiary is bringing that valuable functionality to marketing and CRM for E-commerce, and we’d love to have you give it a try.
Tell us your interesting customer conversation stories or ask our experts your specific questions on customer retention strategies: