Expect the Unexpected

Date: December 21, 2017
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It’s fabulous that so many brands send customers a thank you after their first, or fiftieth, purchase. More often than not, it is accompanied by an offer to tempt the individual back to them quickly. But what happens later on down the line?

With so many options on the market place, you can’t blame a company from trying to convince you to stick with them. Dedicated customer journey plans, normally lasting around three months, are put together to automate the process of increasing loyalty in new customers or drive repeat web sales. So often, if you don’t respond to a brands requests within this time period, you find yourself dropping off their radar and they’re never heard from again. How many organisations are missing a trick here?

Feel good factor

For many, becoming a repeat customer within a short time period is just not feasible or reasonable. If you’ve bought recipe mixes, how many will you get through in a month – will you already need to restock? The foundation pot you use for social events only will last 6 months before you need another, and whilst the hand made products may be perfect for a second loved-ones’ birthday, you’re not going to rush in to buying it unless you have a person in mind.

So how should companies tempt us without resorting to the quick one-off ‘buy this and get that back’, how can they ensure we STAY attracted to their offering? Imagine, no longer receiving hundreds of spam emails with add-ons at ‘reduced’ prices, no more samples through the post which litter the dining table, corner of the kitchen work surface, and ultimately the odds-and-sods drawer until we give in and chuck them away.

Instead, cast your mind back to the time when you received something totally unexpected – perhaps it was a Christmas card from a friend you haven’t touched base with in years, a thank-you speech from your manager in front of colleagues, or even a bunch of flowers from your partner simply ‘just because’. The feel-good factor didn’t just attach itself to the item you received, it also attached itself to the giver. Some companies have started to capitalise on this, sending birthday cards to customers a few days prior to the big day, no matter how long it has been since they did business together.

Value of loyalty

Communicating with clients or customers a few months after their last purchase to show your appreciation, when they least expect it, may encourage them to buy again or come see you once more. Rather than devaluing your brand by discounting upfront on a regular basis – and let’s be honest, with everyone doing this you no longer stand out by pushing a sale – you are showing that you value a customer, whether they do business with you weekly, monthly or even yearly. You understand that every individuals’ needs are different, but their loyalty to you is highly regarded nonetheless.

And it is that very loyalty which is so important to all organisations. The average US company loses half of its customers every five years, equating to a 13% annual loss of customers – something that soon racks up as it costs four to six times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an old one[1]. The traditional 3-month customer journey is no longer relevant in a world where newer, cooler, innovative companies are joining your market place every week of the year – don’t stay at the forefront of your customers minds and before you know it you’re eating their dust.

The most commonly used approaches to customer retention tend to equate loyalty with the frequency of repeat purchases. This type of quantitative tactic does not take into account customer lifestyle, motivations or budgets, which should not be overlooked. Every customer is valuable in the own right – whilst some will be high spenders but stick with you only out of laziness from looking elsewhere, others may not purchase anywhere near as much but be full advocates of your brand and refer dozens of new customers your way.

Give your customers a reason to come back next month, next year, and after that 5-year attrition deadline – not purely for the dangled-carrot of a discount, not just for your great product or service, but because you are enticing them with the right approach of appreciation. Of course, a little incentive always helps.

So, say thank you with a branded, flexible, and personalised reward card, making the appreciation experience from top to bottom all about the relationship between you and them, and dare to be different… we think you should!

[1] http://www.brandxpress.net/2005/10/brand-loyalty-vs-repeated-purchases/