Advances in social media, technology, and customer relationship management and software have conditioned consumers to expect personal and individualized experiences from their favorite merchants and brands.
In fact, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences. Also, 91% of consumers said they would be more likely to shop with brands who recognize and provide relevant offers and recommendations.
With recent and rapid advances in technology, it’s 100% possible to build personal relationships with each of your customers, even if you have thousands or even hundreds of thousands or more. It’s a matter of reimaging your customer relationships and connecting with them on an individual level.
In this post, we’ll cover 3 of the top ways businesses like yours are establishing emotional connections with customers to acquire, engage, and retain them in ongoing and profitable relationships.
1. Realize you can communicate with customers on a personal level
You probably remember the days of sending (and receiving) mass blast communications from your favorite brands. It’s likely you may even still receive (or send!) these types of messages..if you haven’t already unsubscribed.
With the help of a customer engagement platform, you can easily capture both transactional and behavioral data about your customers.
This information is then used to create customer profiles and segments that you can use to send targeted and personalized messages, offers, and incentives based on customer behaviors. This includes anything from one-time promotions you know your customers will love, surprise and delight rewards, and more.
When you use data to guide your marketing decisions, it’s easy to identify what types of marketing promotions will both engage customers in personalized ways and positively influence ROI.
Elephants Deli recently used this approach to send a targeted day-shift offer to change customer behavior and promote brunch to their weekday customers at their Corbett Ave location.
Elephants sent out a targeted email with a 20% off promotion to a segment of their audience (weekday visitors). They also sent an SMS push notification to customers who had made previous purchases at one of their other locations on the weekdays to come in for brunch.
The result? Elephants immediately saw a 43% increase in traffic to their Corbett Ave location and a 50% increase in their customer loyalty member sign-ups.
With the help of data, segmentation, and personalization, Elephant’s Deli created a targeted offer. They empowered themselves to send the right message at the right time to the right customers.
2. Collect and respond to feedback to build relationships and an emotional connection
In recent years, there has been an increase in focus and spending on customer experience (CX) by businesses. In fact, 62% of companies view customer experience as a competitive differentiator, and more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations.
It’s with good cause. Customers are the essential contributors to success of your business. Without an overwhelmingly positive customer experience, your business won’t grow and thrive.
According to HBR, customers who have a strong emotional bond with a brand have a value of 25% to 100% more than customers who are merely satisfied.
This means customer experience isn’t just about providing a satisfactory journey anymore. Companies that foster a positive emotional bond with customers experience financial gains.
So, how do companies do it?
EVO Entertainment Group is an excellent example. An integral part of their customer experience strategy is to review customer feedback and NPS data they get in real-time.
As soon as they get feedback from a customer, the GM at the location makes a priority to respond personally. This allows them to address customer issues in real-time, thank customers for feedback, deliver a personalized experience, and ensure a high rate of returning customers.
By responding to customer feedback in real-time, EVO achieved a 95.4% response rate, an 87% written feedback response rate, and a 63.7% return rate.
With the help of a real-time customer feedback tool, you can engage with customers at the right time and solidify the emotional connection. This is just one strategy to address negative feedback and cultivate positive sentiment.
It might seem silly that you can use technology to create an emotional bond but studies back it up. In fact, a study of 1,000 consumers conducted by Customer Thermometer found that 65% of respondents said they felt they had an emotional bond with a brand, and 91% of those bonds were positive.
3. Get on the data bus
As a business owner, it’s impossible to sit down with each and every one of your customers and have a personal conversation with them.
However, it’s not impossible to capture robust transactional and behavioral data about your customers and use that data to connect with customers in personal ways, respond to feedback, send out relevant messages and offers that generate revenue.
When you arm yourself with insights, you can engage your customers in relevant and emotional ways.
In fact, according to MIT Sloan, organizations that demonstrate higher levels of analytical maturity saw a marked advantage in their customer relationships. The most analytically mature organizations are twice as likely to report strong customer engagement as the least analytically mature organizations.
With a customer engagement platform you make it possible to capture known and unknown customers in one database, access data to send personalized messages, communicate with customers using multiple channels, and supercharge your marketing efforts.
In today’s high-tech world, the tools for reimagining customer relationships are already at your fingertips. All you have to do is start leveraging them to connect with customers in more meaningful ways.
This is the key to fostering meaningful, ongoing, and profitable relationships in a competitive business world.