Why You Should Always Be Thanking Customers

As an ecommerce merchant, you’re probably wondering what you can do to show your customers some gratitude for their continued loyalty. After all, without your customers your store is just another website!

Before we begin looking at the reasons you should be thanking your customers, I would like to start with a quote about customer experiences that came from a rather unlikely source:

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”…Mother Teresa

While there are many ways this quote can be interpreted, here is my take on it: sometimes, we can forget how easy it is to make someone’s day. A simple thank you or personal note can have a lasting and meaningful impact on a customer, and help create an emotional connection they won’t soon forget.

So what’s the impact of thanking customers in the world of ecommerce? I’m sure you already know that you should be thanking customers all year round and not just around the holidays, but you may not know the reasons behind supporting this line of thinking.

Reasons to be thanking customers

Your customers want to feel valued

No one likes being in a one-way relationship – the kind where you’re the only one committing any time or attention to keeping it going.   When you’re always giving and never receiving, it’s easy to feel unappreciated and undervalued.

60% of businesses have lost a customer because they feel the business is indifferent to them…Customer Experience Insight

The same is true in ecommerce. When customers are committed to your brand community, they want to feel like you care about them as individuals.  Otherwise, you run the risk of them taking their business elsewhere. This is one of the biggest contributing factors to a customer choosing to shop with another brand.

While you might assume that most customers choose competitors based on prices and products, 9% of customers leave because of what a competitor is offering while 60% of businesses have lost a customer because they feel a company is indifferent to them. Clearly customers expect a little gratitude in return for their business.

In order to avoid losing them, the simplest thing you can do to make a customer feel valued is to continually thank them for being part of your community.  Through email communications, social messages, and handwritten notes, you can remind customers that you are aware of their business and appreciate it. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did, and you may even create a couple of brand advocates in the process!

Thanking customers has financial benefits

If making your customers feel valued isn’t enough motivation to thank them, maybe the fact that gratitude has financial benefits will be!

Studies have shown that 38% of customers attribute a good customer experience to personalization, and a good customer experience is what will keep delighting your customers.  When your customers are happy, they’re bound to come back to your brand, join your community, and make more purchases as a result!  In fact, shoppers are willing to pay more in order to get a better customer experience, meaning your gratitude has the potential to skyrocket your profitability.

86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
Oracle

If we put those two points together, we can see that customers want a personal, emotionally driven customer experience. As a result, building a personalized experience leads to a better customer experience which customers are willing to pay more for.

If you want to increase profitability, start getting personal!

When you acknowledge each of your customers individually for being engaged members of your brand community, you demonstrate a desire to get to know them and continue building that relationship. This personal attention goes a long way towards endearing customers to your brand, so making sincere “thank yous” should be a key component of your ongoing business model.

How to start thanking customers

Now that you know why thanking customers is important, it’s time to start doing it! Since there are an infinite amount of ways to thank your customers, it’s important to find a way that makes sense for your business, your brand, and above all your customers.

Here are 5 simple ways that you and your business can start thanking your customers.

1. Include a thank you note with every order

This is by far one of the easiest and most effective strategies to start implementing, and can take any number of forms. Whether you thank your customers on social media or with a handwritten note inside the packaging, you can brighten their day by acknowledging their business every time they place a new order.

Besides making your customers smile, this will also help set your business apart. Most ecommerce packages are only shipped with the product, some packing peanuts, and an invoice – an experience that feels completely impersonal. When you include a personal message, you turn the entire experience (even after the sale!) into an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the customer. This turns a simple order into an exchange among friends.

2. Provide customers with value-add content

Value-add marketing is an extremely powerful tool to help improve your customer experience. Not only does it provide extra value for your customers, but it also becomes a valuable resource for your not-yet-customers! So what does value-add content look like?  For starters, you can provide customers with a learning centre or knowledge base where they can increase their knowledge about your product or industry.

A fantastic example of this is Bare Biology, who offers customers access to an online magazine that discusses everything from fitness to beauty. This lets Bare Biology highlight their industry expertise while also helping customers find articles related to a brand they love.

This type of content will look different depending on what your business does.  For example, if you’re a fashion retailer, you could offer customers a style guide on your site that inspires their next outfit.

Whatever you choose to do, this additional content acts as value propositions that improve your customer experience and position your brand as the industry expert. These considerations demonstrate your commitment to helping customers get the most out of your brand at no additional cost.

3. Think of the individual as well as the group

As I’ve already mentioned several times, customers love personalization! This means that you need to start thinking about your customers as individuals who belong to your larger brand community.

This individual personalization can take a number of different forms.  For starters, you can address customers by name in your marketing and post-purchase emails, or even thank them for another year of business every year on their birthday.

No matter how you choose to do it, approaching each customer as an individual is the perfect place to begin to say thank you on a deeper and more meaningful level.

How to Build Emotional Connections When You’re Separated by a Screen
Emotional relationships don’t have to be hard to build from behind a screen. Learn how value-add marketing and brand communities have the power to connect you to your customers in ways that have an incredible impact on your business.

4. Send a handwritten letter

In a world driven by beeps, clicks, and keystrokes, there are few things as exciting as receiving a handwritten letter. There’s something special about knowing that someone took the time to sit down and address them personally that makes it immediately more valuable. This goes a long way in a world that has become obsessed with automation, and will help you further distinguish yourself from your competition.

Take a look at this example from Jimyz Automotive. This customer experience went viral on Reddit immediately after it was posted, with many Reddit users commenting that they actually knew the business and loved Jim, too.

The customer that received this letter is sure to remember it for a long time, and you can bet that the next time they need car service Jimyz Automotive will immediately come to mind!

5. Throw a thank you event

Nothing is as impactful as a thank you given face-to-face. Even though it can be difficult with customers all over the world, there are ways to do it! You can thank your customers on a much smaller scale without diminishing your gratitude’s impact.

Two great ways to do this is by inviting customers to attend a webinar or a podcast. You can sweeten the pot by inviting a celebrity or micro-influencer to address your customers all at once.  This is a great way to minimize expenses while still delivering an above-and-beyond experience.

Don’t feel limited to only using these ideas, though.  If you have the resources to run an in-person customer appreciation event, do it!  Inviting your customers to spend time with other valued members of your brand community is a great way to make them feel special and appreciated – especially if they’re given a little something extra.

A free gift, special meet and greet, or bonus discount are only three of the ways that you can turn a regular Friday night at your store into a wonderful evening of value for your loyal customers.

A personal thank you story

Now that you have seen some of the many ways you can start thanking your customers, I want to share an example of a business showing me thanks! My example comes from a bank, of all places. I had gone into the bank to convert some money for my upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic, and mentioned to the teller that my girlfriend and I had been dating for 5 years and the trip was our way of celebrating.

When I returned from my trip, I had a hand-written postcard from my bank in my mailbox saying that they hoped my girlfriend and I had a wonderful time on our vacation and thanking me for my business.

This personalized thank you blew me away! It left me feeling valued and important, and guaranteed that I will continue to do my banking with ScotiaBank.

If this small gesture can guarantee my customer loyalty, imagine what a combination of thank you gestures can do for your customer base!  At the end of the day, thanking customers is a huge step towards a thriving brand community that will keep your customers happy and coming back time after time.

By:  Alex McEachern

Source: Why You Should Always Be Thanking Customers

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Related contents:

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The Looming $62 Billion Crypto Contagion

Illustration by Gracelynn Wan for Forbes

In 2017, cryptocurrency exchange Binance created the first of a new kind of blockchain-minted digital asset: BNB coin, designed to reward customer behavior such as trading or referring friends to its own platform. “A model for building a scalable, and impactful cryptocurrency business,” heralded CoinDesk editor Pete Rizzo in 2019, after Binance moved the coin to its own proprietary blockchain. “Unbelievable brilliance.”

Today, the only unbelievable thing about the whole cloth of crypto inventions known as exchange tokens, like BNB, is that they have inflated to tens of billions of dollars in value and in large part have become the foundation upon which the fast-growing digital-assets markets rest.

The weakest link in former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire was FTX’s own exchange token, which traded under the symbol FTT. According to Reuters, Bankman-Fried had lent his trading company, Alameda, billions of dollars in FTX customer funds, collateralized by these FTT tokens, which were essentially invented as a way to offer trading discounts and other perks.

“The way that FTT works,” said Bankman-Fried in an August 2022 interview with Forbes, “It is not that you get free FTT for doing things. The way to think about it is that you get free shit for having FTT. So, there’s a bunch of doo-hickeys.”

At the peak in 2021 FTT had a market value of $9.6 billion, but unlike a common stock, which represents legal ownership in the assets of a corporation, FTT does not represent any equity ownership in the FTX company. If FTT had any intrinsic value, it was in the form of discounts that FTX customers using these tokens could get trading on the exchange–as much as 60% for active traders.

You can think of these exchange tokens as being akin to loyalty or reward points you might get as a frequent customer of Starbucks or the UnitedMiles by flying on that airline. They have value, but it’s unlikely that a bank would allow you to use them as collateral if you wanted to purchase a home.

However, in the highly speculative and often bizarre world of digital assets, these loyalty tokens trade on numerous crypto exchanges just as stocks do on the New York Stock Exchange, and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly used them as collateral for the loans his company made. Up until a week ago FTT traded at $26 and had a market capitalization of $3.5 billion.

But after Bankman-Fried’s rival Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s billionaire founder, went on Twitter to say he was planning to sell over $500 million of FTT, it sparked the crypto equivalent of a bank run. Today FTT sells for $2.70, and given FTX’s recent bankruptcy filing, it is likely headed to zero.

But the story of exchange tokens in cryptoland is far from over. Forbes counts more than 16 global crypto and DeFi (decentralized finance) exchanges currently using these tokens for a combined market value of no less than $62 billion.

In fact, so-called exchange tokens are an important underpinning to the crypto exchange ecosystem because they are effective in creating customer loyalty–especially when token prices are rising. Virtually all such tokens offer holders exchange-specific perks such as trading fee discounts, preferential margin loan terms, enhanced rewards for staking (lending) and exchange-branded cashback Visa cards.

Exchange tokens are also awarded to customers that refer new traders to a platform, in a system similar to multi-level marketing organizations like Amway. Exchange tokens function as the fuel for crypto’s self-fulfilling bubbles.

Binance–the largest crypto exchange in the world–has its own token, BNB, which by itself has a market capitalization of $45.9 billion, though it does not represent any equity in Changpeng Zhao’s company nor has it been registered as a security with the U.S. SEC.

Anyone who opens an account on Binance and starts trading can buy or earn these BNB tokens, which offer 25% discounts on spot and margin transaction fees and 10% on futures. If you refer friends, you can get up to 40% commission every time they make a trade on Binance. Also, because Binance has created its own blockchain that mints BNB coins, you can use BNB to pay for goods and services, book airfare and hotels on sites like Travala for instance, participate in exclusive token sales and even earn free tokens by completing surveys and tasks.

You can also put BNB to use by staking, earn a flexible percentage yield by depositing it on BNB Chain-based projects and apply for crypto loans. Notably, these digital assets are also essential for anyone who want to use Binance’s decentralized exchange (DEX), which theoretically can’t be shut down by U.S. regulators.

Unlike bitcoin, which is mined every ten minutes, all of the 350 million FTT tokens that would ever exist were created in what is known as a pre-mine. “There will never be any more minted,” said Bankman-Fried recently. In fact, over a period of about three months starting around June of 2019 almost all of FTT’s premined tokens were sold prior to getting listed on crypto exchanges. “Effectively, all of the FTT tokens were owned by a collection of people and entities,” said Bankman-Fried.

In order to create scarcity and essentially bolster the value of its exchange tokens, FTX and Binance conduct what are known as token burns. Periodically both exchanges send tokens to irretrievable addresses reducing the float, similarly to a share buyback, and thus increasing the value of the exchange tokens outstanding. Since 2019 FTX has burned 21 million FTT tokens.

In total, Binance has burned more than 42 million BNB, which would be worth $11.6 billion at today’s prices. CZ has said Binance doesn’t borrow money and has never used BNB as collateral on loans. He recently began advocating that exchanges undergo a “proof” of funds.

In terms of governance, exchange tokens, like loyalty reward programs, are completely under the control of the entity that issues or redeems them, even if they profess to stick to pre-arranged schedules for issuance or burning. DeFi tokens, by contrast, claim to offer holders the ability to propose and vote on platform changes. But in reality, many large DeFi platforms concentrate governance in the hands of big investors and founding teams.

Additionally, just as FTT did not give holders stakes in FTX, purchasing a DeFi token does not necessarily convey ownership rights into the underlying platform. The table below offers details on some 16 different cryptocurrency and DeFi-platform exchange tokens representing more than $60 billion in market value.

Conspicuously absent are Coinbase and Kraken, which are U.S.-based and have avoided issuing exchange tokens, presumably because they would likely be deemed securities by the SEC. All of the tokens listed trade on exchanges daily like stocks–most of them have plummeted in value in the last year—but not a single one offers any ownership in the companies that they are affiliated with. Buyer beware.

TOKEN VALUES

The 16 crypto and DeFi exchanges below created exchange tokens to attract and retain customers. Though they trade like stocks and have a value of over $60 billion, none represent ownership in their affiliated platforms.

I report on all things crypto and oversee the Forbes Crypto Confidential newsletter and the annual Forbes Blockchain 50 list which features billion-dollar leaders in distributed ledger

I write about digital assets trends and am a leading creator of the Forbes Digital Assets tools and functionality our viewers require. I support the generation of relevant, curated investor

Source: The Looming $62 Billion Crypto Contagion

.

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The Fall of FTX

Why Taking A Personal Approach To Business Can Yield Big Results

getty

Almost everyone has heard, “It’s not personal; it’s just business.” While this phrase sounds okay on the surface, adopting this belief is actually more damaging than you’d think for your employees and customers.

Business is inherently personal because companies are made up of people who aren’t interested in one-size-fits-all approaches. No one wants to feel like a cog in a wheel, which is why taking a personal approach in business often leads to better performance and greater satisfaction in your work.

If you want to take a personal approach in your business, this starts with how you treat your employees and customers. If these relationships aren’t as strong as you would like them to be, here are some strategies for improving them.

Taking A Personal Approach To Employees

Salary will always play a role in an employee’s job satisfaction, but now, a higher salary doesn’t have as much negotiation power as before. The “great resignation” has forced many companies to see that their old ways aren’t cutting it in the current environment. It isn’t just recommended to take a more personal approach to your business relationships—it’s a necessity to keep your team from migrating to the competition.

Employees need to feel that their work has meaning and, more importantly, see how it contributes to the greater good. Here are a few ways you can begin taking a personal approach with your employees:

Be transparent: There’s nothing more frustrating than working in a job where it feels like management is constantly withholding information. You’re not protecting your employees from anything—you’re creating unnecessary anxiety in the office. Be honest with your team and let them know what’s happening in the business—they’ll be more committed to the company because of it.

Provide opportunities to advance: It’s hard to experience job satisfaction if you don’t feel like you’re growing and getting better at what you do. Look for ways to give your employees opportunities to advance, and talk to them about new positions that will be available as the company grows.

Remember birthdays: Don’t let staff birthdays come and go without acknowledging them. Mark the dates of all your employees’ birthdays in your calendar and order them a cake, or something similar, to celebrate. It may seem like a small gesture, but it will go a long way toward showing your employees you care about them.

Taking A Personal Approach To Customers

Your customers drive your business, so you need to consider their interactions with your company from their point of view. Staying connected to your customers and showing them you care about their opinion will build long-term brand loyalty, much like it would if you were in their shoes.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply thanking your customers for their business. If you’re a small business, you may be able to call each customer personally and thank them for their support.

Another option is to send cards thanking your customers for their business. You can also send holiday cards to show your appreciation, but you don’t just want to engage your customers when things are going well—it’s just as important to reach out when there’s a problem.

Instead of seeing complaints as a hassle, use them as opportunities to strengthen the relationship with your customers. Mistakes are inevitable, and when you apologize and do what you can to fix the problem, it builds trust with your customers.

Taking A Personal Approach Can Lead To Bigger Business Results

As a business owner, you need to find ways to motivate and inspire your employees. Happy employees will be more productive, more engaged with their work, and more creative, which can also lead to lower employee turnover rates and help your bottom line.

Your goal with each customer is to increase the customer lifetime value (CLV). A high CLV means that customer brings in more revenue for your business. By building credibility and trust with your customers, you’ll lower your customer churn and, of course, make each customer more impactful for your longevity.

As technology becomes more advanced, it’s easy for businesses to lose sight of what really matters. We can automate processes and communicate with our team/customers through apps for convenience, but if we don’t focus on the human component of our relationships, simplicity becomes much less important.

When you take a personal approach in business, you treat your employees and customers as individuals and look for personalized solutions to every problem. You look beyond your CRM and Slack to find ways to build strong relationships—an old approach to a new challenge. Take the time, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and strategize to implement systems that benefit your team and customers just as much as your profit line.

CEO & Founder of National Business Capital, the leading fintech marketplace offering streamlined small business loans. Read Joe Camberato’s full

Source: Why Taking A Personal Approach To Business Can Yield Big Results

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5 Steps For Creating a Content Marketing Strategy That Drives Business Results

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Here are five crucial steps your brand should take to create a content marketing strategy that grows your business and drives results. “Never ask for anything, and especially from those who are stronger than you. They’ll make the offer themselves, and give it of their own accord” — that’s one popular quote from Mikhail Bulgakov’s book, The Master and Margarita.

Even though Bulgakov didn’t mean that in the context of , that’s a generally good rule. Content marketing is one thing that provides the most inbound requests. In other words, make people come to you first and offer themselves.

According to , 78% of companies with a documented produced effective, meaningful content. Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less. However, it’s essential to ensure your is creating content that’s useful to your customers and able to further your company’s long-term goals.

There’s an overwhelming amount of content available in digital spaces, so here are five crucial steps your brand should take to create a content marketing strategy that drives results:

Related: 4 Simple Steps to Creating an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

1. Figure out your narrative

The most memorable and successful brands have one thing in common: They tell an engaging, consistent story. Storytelling is the heart of a great content marketing strategy, so investing the time and resources necessary to perfect this aspect of your business is important.

Psychology Today notes that stories help humans increase feelings of empathy by releasing the “happy” chemical oxytocin and reducing the stress hormone cortisol. The right story still sparks that primal part of the human psyche that engages our emotions and fosters a sense of meaningful connection to each other and the brand telling the story. In essence, stories are how we think and assign meaning to our lives.

Anyone can create a meaningful story around their product or service, and 92% of consumers say they want to see ads that feel like a story. is a notable example of this. Buying furniture isn’t exactly the most exciting task. However, customers are incredibly loyal to Ikea, not because of their quality or prices, but because they’ve created an immersive narrative around experiencing the aspirational joy of designing your home with simple, elegant pieces that reflect who you are.

2. Research your target audience and channels

Before creating a compelling narrative, you must know to whom you’re telling the story. Generating leads and traffic is consistently one of the most challenging aspects of marketing, which is why it’s essential to research your target audience thoroughly.

Create an avatar of your ideal customer, and spend time fleshing out this person’s backstory. What’s their age? Gender? Average income? What kinds of careers might this person want? What do they do for fun? What type of personality do they have? The more three-dimensional you can make this avatar, the more intimately you can understand your target audience.

For an example of how this is done right, scroll through MoonPie’s Twitter. They have perfected their brand voice to reflect their target audience: Someone who enjoys quirky humor and doesn’t take themselves too seriously. As a result, they’re highly relatable to their audience and facilitate engagement in a seemingly effortless manner.

Related: To Reach Your Target Audience, You Need to Use These 5 Steps

3. Generate content ideas

Did you know that, on average, 35% of companies have zero dedicated content marketing personnel? This means that it’s hard to come up with consistently fresh content and stay on top of trends. Tools like UberSuggest, Google Trends and Buzzsumo are all great ways to maximize your content generation ideas when you don’t have a dedicated team, but there are other things your brand can do as well.

Depending on your goals and audience, there are plenty of ways to generate eye-catching, shareable content ideas. You can set up trend alerts on platforms like Instagram and to capitalize on viral videos and memes, or you can even turn to your user base to create a user-driven campaign.

Neutrogena is an example of a successful user-generated content campaign with their Neutrogena Studios platform. For this, they’ve allowed customers to create video content submissions focused on skin health. Not only does this utilize brand loyalty and provide an evergreen source of marketing content, but it also requires minimal resources for a great ROI.

4. Decide on distribution

No matter how great your content is, your time and resources are ultimately wasted if you can’t get it in front of the right audience. From ebooks, blogs and podcasts to graphics and webinars, there are countless ways to distribute your content.

Which channels you choose will depend on your goals and target audience. However, there are three main channels: paid (e.g., Instagram ads), owned (e.g., email newsletters) and earned (e.g., social media shares). In most cases, a successful content distribution strategy will be some combination of all three channels.

The optimal distribution strategy comes after defining your target audience and figuring out your narrative. These two steps inform the types of content you’ll focus on, which helps you determine the best channels for getting your content seen and shared.

A key component of distribution is ensuring your owned channels are optimized, because this is the avenue you have the most control over. Oracle Vitrue’s “Like Can Never Replace Love” campaign saw massive success because the company emphasized promotion through its owned distribution channels (e.g., staff, partners, influencers and customers).

Related: 4 Content Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Business

5. Measure your results

Every content marketing strategy needs goals and measurable KPIs to determine whether or not a campaign was effective. KPIs like content impact, engagement, traffic and sentiment are great starting points. Still, these can be further divided into more nuanced metrics like unique page views, conversions, top exits, bounce rates and social shares. Remember that the metrics will differ for each distribution channel, and understand that figuring out the proper baselines and metrics for your brand will likely take time (and some adjustment).

In the case of Casper, a sleep startup that has built its brand on content marketing, those metrics could be features in top-tier magazines that entail recognition among a broader audience. Despite its financial problems afterward, Casper had first grown rapidly, generating $30 million in revenue and expanding its team from five to hundreds of people in less than a year.

The company was featured as one of the most innovative companies by Fast Company in both 2016 and 2017. “The brand made a splash on social media, releasing a series of creative Snapchat and Instagram stories,” they wrote. Casper also hired journalists and announced the launch of its own editorial venture focused on all aspects of sleep. So, no matter what, Casper has its own identity and a foothold in brand history.

Related: How to Craft a Content-Marketing Strategy That Works

Remember that your content should be emotionally compelling and purposeful. Great content marketing strategies allow brands to establish genuine connections with their audience. Don’t be afraid to explore what will work best for your brand and try different options. Ultimately, it’s essential to recognize that content marketing strategies are dynamic, ongoing processes that will shift and change over time. So, it’s wise to start dedicating time and resources toward it now to get a jumpstart on the future.

Source: 5 Steps for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy That Drives Business Results

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Customer Loyalty Comes From An Emotional Connection

Consider the automobile manufacturer BMW, which in the 1970s used the slogan The Ultimate Driving ... [+] getty images

There are many reasons a customer might come back to a business again and again that have nothing to do with loyalty. A repeat customer can come about because of a convenient location, a lower price, a bigger selection and more. But those don’t create loyalty. It just looks as if the customer is loyal.

Actually, you could say that they are loyal—but not to the company. They are loyal to the price, convenient location, etc. The customer who comes back again and again for those types of reasons can deceive you. Not on purpose. It’s their behavior that imitates loyalty. Consider a retail store with repeat customers (not loyal customers), and ask this: If a competitor moves into the neighborhood, has a more convenient location and advertises lower prices, would the customer switch?

If you want your customers to be loyal, you must find a way to create an emotional connection. Meet Zhecho Dobrev, a principal consultant at Beyond Philosophy and the author of the newly published book, The Big Miss: How Organizations Overlook the Value of Emotions. I interviewed Dobrev for an episode of Amazing Business Radio, and he shared his insights on what drives loyalty.

According to Dobrev, “Emotional connection creates preference over the competition. Customers don’t just come back out of convenience. They see a difference between doing business with your company and other companies.” His research has found that the amount of business a company gets is dependent on its relationships with customers.

The relationship you want with customers is rooted in emotion. A good experience creates a positive memory. Dobrev is a fan of Professor Daniel Kahneman, who says that people don’t choose between experiences. They choose between the memories of their experiences.

Often, memory is based on interactions customers have had with a salesperson, customer support or a process that a company has. Ideally, it’s a good memory. And when the customer comes back a second time and third time and has similar experiences, the memories of those interactions become an owned experience.

The customer expects it. They know it’s going to happen, just like last time. That’s where the relationship starts to solidify, with a consistent and predictable experience. It goes to an even higher level when the customer feels valued and appreciated. Ultimately, the brand becomes more important than just a place to stop and do business.

Dobrev surveyed more than 19,000 customers in the U.S. and UK and determined that emotional attachment was the biggest driver of value, being responsible for about 43% of business value. Compare that to a company that promotes product features, which came in second at 20%. “Customers don’t know what they really want,” says Dobrev. “They say they want a product, but what really drives business value is emotional attachment.”

Emotions can start to develop even before the customer chooses to do business with a company or brand. Emotions can be found in a marketing strategy. Consider the automobile manufacturer BMW, which in the 1970s used the slogan The Ultimate Driving Machine—a description of the car—until it switched its focus to the emotion of owning and experiencing the car with the slogan BMW is Joy.

While BMW still includes The Ultimate Driving Machine in its descriptors, today’s slogan is Sheer Driving Pleasure. Joachim Blickhäuser, head of corporate and brand identity at the BMW Group, says, “The ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’ slogan delivers positive emotions and does exactly what a claim should.”

While an emotional connection may help create customer loyalty, you can’t ignore other competitive features. While loyalty makes price less relevant, there is a breaking point. Being easy to do business is also a big factor, so eliminate the friction that will potentially cause customers to run to your competition.

So, here is your assignment. Ask your customers, “Why do you do business with us?” Their reasons will help you define the differences between features and benefits compared to feelings and emotions. Once you have your features and benefits in place, work on creating emotional connections, and your customers will come back for the right reasons—because they love doing business with you.

I am the Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations. As a customer service and experience expert, I help organizations create amazing customer

Source: Customer Loyalty Comes From An Emotional Connection

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Critics by Sean Peek

Customer loyalty is a customer’s likelihood of doing repeat business with you. This stems from customer satisfaction and outweighs availability, pricing, and other factors that typically impact buying decisions. When a customer is loyal to a product, service, or brand, they are willing to wait for a restock or spend a little extra money for it.

“Customer loyalty means the difference between a one-time sale and a customer who comes back to you potentially for the rest of their lives,” said Tyler Read, CEO of personal training company PTPioneer. “If you put in the work necessary to build customer loyalty, those customers will … stay invested in your business. When your business is struggling, it’s the loyal customers who will help you stay afloat.”

This is especially important and evident amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think the pandemic was a test of customer loyalty in that it forced consumers to honestly evaluate what service providers they trusted,” said Bill Zinke, senior vice president of marketing at BELFOR Franchise Group. “So, one of the key lessons from the pandemic has been [that], in good times, building customer loyalty can help you grow faster and more profitably, and in tough or challenging times, it can be the difference between surviving and going out of business.”

Customer loyalty is important for many reasons. These are the major ones:

  • Repeat customers typically spend more than new customers. Because they already trust your business and its products or services, existing customers tend to spend more money than new customers. In fact, the amount they spend typically increases with the duration of doing business with your brand.
  • Loyal customers yield higher conversion rates. Existing customers have an average conversion rate of around 60% to 70%, while new customers have a conversion rate of 5% to 20%. In other words, you get more value from loyal customers visiting your site.
  • Customer loyalty boosts profits. The more customer loyalty you have, the better your profits will be. In fact, just a 5% increase of customer retention could increase business increase business profits by 25% to 95%.
  • Customer retainment is cheaper than customer recruitment. While recruiting new customers is important, it can be expensive – around five times more expensive than retaining a loyal one, actually. Simply retaining loyal customers is much more cost-effective, as they bring higher profits at a lower cost.
  • Loyal customers shop regularly. Because they’ve already had positive experiences with your brand, repeat customers tend to shop much more frequently than new customers. This is especially true around the holidays, when consumers are purchasing gifts and spending more than they typically would during the rest of the year.
  • Customer loyalty helps you plan ahead. When you have loyal customers, you can make better anticipatory decisions and effectively plan your finances and marketing efforts….to be continued

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WP GDPR    https://jvz8.com/c/202927/299907
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