Your customers will love you if they can contact your business and you are able to quickly and efficiently help them. The problem, however, is that satisfied customers don’t always equate loyal customers. In reality, even the most satisfied customers will leave you for a better deal or a better customer experience.
Customer loyalty is tenuous. As a 2015 IBM study shows, even the most customer-friendly businesses must work hard to keep the customers they’ve fought so hard for:
- Nearly 60% of surveyed customers report they will leave a business if they can get a better deal or offer from another company.
- About 30% of the customers said their primary provider has failed them one way or another but at least half report that a poor customer experience was the number one factor in their decision to leave that provider.
- Only 22% of respondents say the average business understands them as an individual.
So even though you may think you’re doing a great job of taking care of your customers’ needs, the unfortunate reality is that maybe you still aren’t doing enough.
Own Your Customers
Nowadays, customers are bombarded with new offers all the time which means that you have to work even harder to retain your value, a challenging task requiring persistence, focus, and the ability to tap into what your competitors cannot: better insights into your customers’ needs and wants.
Marketers agree that personalization is the only way you stand a chance of setting yourself apart from the competition and holding on to your customers:
- 53% of marketers report that ongoing, personalized communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact.
- Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.
- 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.
There’s no question that personalization leads to big pay-offs. Customers want to see that you are agile enough to keep up with their ever-changing expectations. This is why customer loyalty depends so much on your ability to meet their often unspecified needs and, sometimes, even take them by surprise.
The Customer Data Advantage
Forrester has found that marketers who rely on customer data to predict their customers’ needs are:
- Nearly three times as likely to see higher-than-average revenue growth rates.
- Twice as likely to occupy a commanding leadership position in the product/service markets they serve.
- More likely to experience better customer engagement.
Here are some of the ways marketers are using data to provide an experience which surprises and delights their customers.
1) Staying in touch
68% of customers say they will leave a company because they believe it doesn’t care about them, making perceived indifference one of the top causes of customer abandonment. But keeping track of all your customer interactions will make it easier to check in with your customers from time to time, improving their perception of your business.
And, of course, when you stay in touch with your customers, they are more likely to remember you. As the saying goes - out of sight, out of mind. Making use of customer data is one way to ensure your customers don’t forget you. Sending personalized follow-ups, offers, or even simple thank you notes are easy enough if you have a customer data system in place.
2) Being proactive
A customer database helps you identify and segment customers into categories that improve your interactions with them. If you know what your customers want and need, you’ll be better positioned to make more effective offers, suggesting products and services that directly address their needs.
A customer relationship management (CRM) database provides you with all the information you need to identify other products or services customers may be interested in based on their past purchases and buying patterns. In addition to delighting your customers, this can have a significant impact on your business’s revenue, enabling you to sell related but higher-priced products or services.
3) Providing relevant help
Savvy marketers provide customers with content which makes their lives easier and better. But the trick to effective content marketing is being able to access customer data with which you are able to develop relevant and timely content, content centered around who they are, what they value, what their changing needs are, and which segment they most closely align with.
Your communication must match their needs and goals. But if you have at your disposal the right customer data, you should have no problem providing solutions to their most pressing problems, offering assistance to help them meet their goals, or delivering needed information about your own product or service to counteract any hesitations they have about doing business with you.
Develop a Customer Data Obsession!
You need to become obsessed with gathering customer data. Data will increase your chances of selling the right product to the right customer, simplify every interaction you have with that customer, and ensure you are doing everything you can to surprise and delight that customer, maintaining his or her happiness, trust, and loyalty. Don’t wait; make customer data an essential part of your day-to-day business operations today!