Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NACCM 2009: Create and Maintain Loyalty Through Ongoing Customer Engagement

Do you remember that Coke commercial with the catchy song, “I’d like to teach the world to sing…”

Marti Beller, President of Affinion Loyalty Group, kicked off her session with a powerful demonstration. She played that Coke commercial that’s now 30 years old and many people still remember it. And nearly everyone knows the jingle.

Coke knew how to do 30 years ago what we’re trying to learn how to do today: how to create an emotional bond with consumers.

Apple knows it, too. 75% of PC Users say they love the Apple brand, even though they don’t use it. Don’t tell that to the PC guy in the Apple commercials. He’d have a heart attack.

Marti challenged our thinking by opening our eyes to the fact that 80% of customers are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” before they leave and go buy somewhere else. A great example is your local movie theater. Chances are you’re satisfied with your last experience there, but if there is a better show time somewhere else, you’ll switch.

Harley Davidson and Disney are both constantly creating an emotional connection with their customers. Disney’s website even uses the words, “Life’s Special Moments.”

Customer engagement is an ongoing process. Engagement accumulates through satisfaction, loyalty, advocacy, and excitement about your brand.

Marti knows what she’s talking about. Affinion has had 7 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth because they help their clients create emotional connections through points-based loyalty programs.

Organizations who engage consumers to the point where they are moved to behavioral change do so by creating opportunities for emotional connections through ongoing, consistently positive experiences.

One of the best by-products of a points-based loyalty program is DATA about the customer.

So how do you measure customer engagement?

Share of Wallet – engaged people buy more products

Positive Referral – engaged customers convert potential customers to switch (Ever ask somebody about their Apple iPhone? They’ll convert you.)

Retention – engaged people stay longer

Feedback – engaged people give more feedback, which provides the opportunity to address issues and concerns and preserve potentially lost revenue

So why do we care about engaged customers? So what if our customers aren’t highly engaged? At least we’re maintaining the status quo. Marti argues that low customer engagement actually causes companies to lose money! So when you think you’re customer satisfaction scores are flat, they’re more likely declining!

Marti encouraged us to understand and execute The Four Ps of Customer Engagement:

Perspective: understanding and using your data to best communicate and engage with your customers.

  • Very few companies use their current data on the customers they HAVE to realize which customers they DON’T have.

Purpose: knowing your brand and how it best resonates with your consumers.

  • You have to use market data to understand your consumers from an unbiased standpoint
  • What do your customers think is best in class, average, and worst in class? Make sure your brand promise matches up with their expectation of your company. Consumers want consistency.

Proliferation: using multiple channels to engage your customer

  • Be careful where you make offers to your customer. Communicating rewards on their “bill” is probably not a good idea.
  • Understand that people will engage with your website. Communicate the benefits of “membership” clearly every day. Get the knowledge out. Remind them frequently.
Praise: rewarding your customers for their behavior and engagement with your brand.

  • Thanking a customer can be a great way to create an opportunity to upsell a customer.

Here are the major points the audience stated as takeaways:

  • If you don’t do something, you won’t stay flat, you’ll sink.
  • You need to make sure your customers know what they’re getting from you (communicate benefits often).
  • Understand what you’re communicating and how/where.
  • Do the things that are unexpected to differentiate yourself.
  • SLA (Service Level Agreements) around passion is important.
  • The most important data is the “why.”
  • Use every touchpoint to remind the customer about your benefits.
  • Certain touchpoints have a tendency to “describe” an entire company.

1 comment:

Carolin Hanna Dahlman said...

Interestig! Where is the study about PC users loving apple from?