“The way to a customer’s heart is much more than a loyalty program. Making customer evangelists is about creating experiences worth talking about.” – Valeria Maltoni
It is easy to create a loyalty program and promote it. It is not a bad idea as I have developed many long term relationships with companies who provided me with generous loyalty programs. But, those companies also provided me with quality service which is a bigger reason for my loyalty. The loyalty program is the 25% extra — the icing on the cake.
The question is, how can you create experiences worth talking about with your customers? The key is to understand what bothers your customers and to do the opposite.
Some customers are furious that they can never reach a qualified rep on the phone. What if you make it easy to reach someone smart? If not by phone then by email? Or have a few phone hours per day and then email outside of those hours. Customers might like it if you return emails quickly as well with useful answers instead of generic links embedded in the email to long Q&A pages that don’t focus on what they are asking.
Other customers are upset by companies that are always late. What if you deliver early no matter what to that customer. They will love you for life.
What if some customers like touch ups to their work and you are always there to quickly and pleasantly do touch ups.
Some customers want to choose their reps. Do you give them one choice of a bad rep or five choices of great reps?
What about an engineered and customized customer experience? If you interview the customer ahead of time, find out their likes, dislikes, what went wrong in their last work relationship, etc. Then, you can craft a unique customer experience just for them. Even if it costs you more, you will win over their loyalty.
Let’s say you run a hotel and you know that Fred likes to sleep late, get a Wall Street journal, and have breakfast delivered to his room. You can talk to him the night before and ask him to call you the minute he is awake and that you will have his paper and breakfast ready within minutes.
There are many ways to design the perfect customer experience. The idea is that you put some attention into it, and that could help you succeed in a huge way!