Today’s biggest buzz words are ‘flexibility’ and ‘agility’ as many brands focus on today’s problems and the opportunities in front of them. The problem with this is that long-term planning often falls by the wayside. You stop thinking about how your relationship with any given customer will evolve in say five or ten years time. True customer closeness relies on your organisation seeing customers as assets that will appreciate in time. That means not hitting the panic button if they didn’t buy straight away or your strategy didn’t return instant results.
In order to treat customers like assets, you need to put a number on to key stats such as; cost of acquisition, lifetime value, cost of relationship and churn rate. These will give you a good grounding as to the value of different segments to your brand and help you to focus on the long-term picture of customers as a whole, rather than the immediate sale.
"Think about your customer lifecycle. What are the key points in that journey and how can you record interactions/interventions at those points." Nick Offord-Middleton, Senior Data Executive
We’d all love it if customer journeys were as simple as seeing your brand – visiting your website- making a purchasing decision…but they aren’t! Today’s sales funnel is so fragmented that its extremely likely that a customer will have had several brand interactions on multiple fronts before you even become aware of them. Brands have a tendency to either come up with an idealised version of customer journeys or get so lost in detail they suffer from analysis paralysis and can’t create any actions. Try and reference data from as many touchpoints as possible, create journeys with simple steps and when considering the longevity of that customer, consider how what brought them in can help to retain them.
So this one is a lot easier said than done. Nearly every organisation puts more emphasis on new customers rather than repeat customers. Most see retention being a mix of good service and regular communication and not much else. If you want to grow customers, then you need to drive behaviour within your organisation to accomplish this.
Reward excellent customer service. Reward regular contact. Reward personalised approaches and perceived value for their customer. Reward customer wins even where that might mean you make less money in the short term. If you can truly focus on doing everything to make your customers lives better…then you can’t go far wrong.