Excited and engaged customers bring in 23% more profits. Yes, you read that right! 23% more profits! However, with advancing technology and decreasing face-to-face encounters, companies are having to find new ways to get customers excited.
Positive experiences lead to increasing connections. And the more positive experiences a customer has the more loyal they become to your brand. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. So why do only 58% percent of businesses have a formal engagement program? Companies must adopt a customer engagement strategy or get left behind.
Here are some innovative ways business leaders can excite their customers in this impersonal, digital age:
1. Survey customers to better understand them.
It sounds simple enough, but yet most businesses do not implement effective surveys. What’s the best way to learn what excites customers? Ask them.
Surveys can be useful if companies use proper analytics to interpret data and implement necessary changes. Get creative! Put a quick poll on social media or after an order. Ask a couple of questions when following up with customers. You can also casually poll customers during checkout at a retail location. Use this data to make better decisions and help employees to better understand the target audience.
2. Use personalization.
80% of people say that brands are not tailored to their needs. In a world where brands like Netflix and Amazon are doubling down on personalization, smaller brands must also commit to this growing trend. Amazon’s Alexa is designed to “get to know the customer.” The more “she” learns, the easier it is for consumers to buy products. Again, understanding your customer and catering to their needs is a surefire way to gain repeat buyers.
3. Focus on creating added value.
The heart of brand loyalty is always value. Value is not about giving away free things or being the cheapest product. Instead, it is about giving customers what they want.
Take PNC bank for example:
Marianne Hynd, VP of Operations at Ann Michaels & Associates and mom of 3, is always in need of single bills for her kids lunch money. Since ATM machines typically like to dispense $10 and $20 bills, Marianne usually has to stop somewhere to make a small purchase in order to get singles. A couple years ago PNC bank started allowing ATM withdrawals in multiples of $1. While this was a welcome change, Marianne says “I still had to make three separate transactions. But I was okay with it at the time.”
“However, I went to the ATM the other day and started going through the process and after choosing the amount for the withdrawal I saw three game changing words…Choose your bills. PNC now allows customers to choose which denominations they’d like for their withdrawals. Now this is such a small change but I can’t tell you how happy it made me. What it did for me as a consumer was it took one more step out of the process and it made my weekly trip a little bit quicker. I’ve been a customer of PNC for many years and it’s little changes like that that will keep me a customer for many years to come.”
4. Share behind-the-scenes content.
Taking customers behind the scenes humanizes companies. This can be as simple as sharing employee stories on social media or doing a personal one-on-one interview with a company executive.
Disney offers “Behind the Scenes” tours to guests to engage customers in the “magic” of Disney. These tours present an unseen side of the company, demonstrating how Disney is changing the world through agriculture research or by valuing minority causes. The tours reinforce the Disney brand while providing visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
5. Try something new.
According to a study cited by NBC, pumpkin spice in the fall has been shown to evoke positive memories of childhood. Perhaps this is one reason why Starbucks found incredible success when they launched their pumpkin spice latte in 2003. In fact, the company could barely keep up with demand in the early days.
Be willing to try new things. Starbucks took a calculated risk in introducing the pumpkin spice latte, and it paid off spectacularly. Similarly, business leaders must ensure that their organizations are daring enough to try new things.
There are a variety of ways for business leaders to develop excitement and engagement in consumers. However, the common component is always putting the customer first. Once the customer is the primary focus for you and you understand what matters most to them, it will be easier to develop innovative approaches to creating customer excitement.