Dear Customer,

We will remember the BIG small things for you.

Yours sincerely

That’s the simple promise brands should make when trying to garner customer loyalty. Unless you thought that a Rs.500 voucher OR a raffle promotion for an all-expense paid trip to Bali is incentive enough to demand your customer’s loyalty in exchange. Good luck with that!

My experience as a marketer and a digital marketing strategist consulting global brands, leads me to believe that when it comes to making choices about marketing strategy, customer experience and value articulation it is always and always about:

  • Being the customer and expecting the world
  • Following the rule of “one less worry” or “one hearty delight”
  • Acknowledging digital is a means, not the end

Here are a couple of examples of brands to elaborate the thought process. 

Taking away the small worries 

The days of the good old cheque book are still not over entirely. And 10 years ago writing a cheque for almost any financial transaction was just an everyday thing to do. Most times we ran out of cheque leaves and could never remember to request for a new one – in time. But there was one bank that never expected you to remember it.

By applying a simple logic that a customer has X number of leaves and that each one can be tracked for usage, the bank would re-order a new cheque book as soon as there was a low number of leaves remaining for use. To the customer it meant “One less worry” and it went a long way in building a lasting impression.

Though this is an example from years ago, we now call this an analytics/ insight driven customer experience that’s enabled by digital/ analytics.

I tend to believe that strategies that focus on employing analytics to decipher the next best offer or product for the customer based on spend patterns, credit history, demographics and browsing history, are less valued by customers. Simply because it is a marketing and sales objective that drives the articulation of what is valuable and not necessarily a customer objective.

However, even a small gesture that can make a difference to the everyday life of the customer is a powerful definition of value.

Bringing a BIG delight 

Out of sight, out of mind. Maybe it is a good strategy when your brand is trying to be relevant but not intrusive. A casino brand made a choice to remain out of sight when it couldn’t do much to bring delight to its patron’s usual day.

Here is how. To be given a chance to win a fortune if you just walked a few steps further from where you were already, sure is “one hearty delight”. But it could be frustratingly irrelevant if the customer couldn’t possibly try his/her luck because they were physically not anywhere near.

Therefore, the brand defined value and experience based on the principle of proximity. It made a conscious choice of muting all promotional notifications of its games and draws, when the patron was not in close proximity of the resort. However, should the patron be near the casino, the brand’s mobile app would actively throw up promotions of the upcoming draw or card game coming up for a win. Thereby nudging them to action, just at the right place and time.

The strategy works brilliantly for multiple reasons. For one, to the customer it means that only when there is highest relevance of information and possibility of action by the patron, the brand would actively reach out. Second, the strategy made use of the extremely powerful psychological factors of enticement and opportunity with minimal effort, which are hard to resist.

Third, it results in reduced number of no-shows which would otherwise lead to wasted time and effort in conducting draws and promotional games. Thus, keeping intact the commercial strategy of the business of hope, without being intrusive.

So focusing on living the experience of the customer, identifying opportunities to truly delight and employing digital to make it real, increase the brand’s chances of enjoying customer loyalty.

Written exclusively for Paul Writer.

Image Courtesy: All rights reserved by terryjohns1976


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