A lot of business owners spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to acquire new customers. But, a lot of business owners are doing it wrong.
Let’s set a scene: the economy takes a turn for the worse, your investments fall through, and layoffs are in order. All of a sudden, your budget for marketing, promotions is no longer sufficient. What keeps your business afloat? Devoted customers.
There are many ways to create a happy customer. Your company might offer great promotions, free shipping, an easy-to-use website, or even high quality products. These can all make for really happy customers. But what creates a devoted customer and what’s the value?
What’s the Value of a Devoted Customer?
Fact: 73% of customers will spend more money if they love your brand.
Devoted customers are different than happy customers. These are the people that sit at 9 or 10 on the net promoter score scale. These are the people that will not only recommend your product or service to everyone they know, but opt out of other, cheaper, or even higher quality vendors to purchase with you.
A company can get started and even be successful for a few years with happy customers. A company will flourish and inspire with devoted customers.
Start Making Experience a Priority
In a world where few things aren’t a commodity, customer experience has become the new battlefield for long-term loyalty. In fact, according to a 2016 Harris poll, 83% of customers care just as much about how you treat them as what you sell.
Consider this: if you ask a potential customer what it would take for them to do business with you, you’ll likely hear price, quality, maybe even necessity. Those sound pretty standard and you might be saying “Ok, well I’ll just beat out my competitors from all of those angles.” But let’s break it down a little further.
Price: This could very well be a heavily weighted factor in a purchase decision and depending on how price sensitive they are, your business may never win that game.
Quality: The quality of your products is important yet, hard to measure. Most products are out for a very short time before a competitor comes in and is able to replicate it.
Necessity: Well, unless in you’re in the business of saving lives, more than likely, you aren’t customer’s only option.
So, what does this tell us? At PHOS, we like to ask a different question: What would make them come back? Experience.
And experiences don’t just happen when the customer’s are in your store or speaking to you on the phone. Customer experience happens every time they touch any part of your brand. This means social media, blogs, websites, and more.
But, how do you use these platforms to create an experience? Let’s break it down:
Most companies have bought in to the fact that they should be on some form of social media. But ask yourself this: is your company taking full advantage of the platforms you’re on? How engaging is your content? According to the same Harris poll, 33% of customers say that they will spend more on your products if you engage and entertain them on social media.
One of our favorite local grocery stores has one of the largest groups of devoted customers in town and their social media presence is a sure way for shoppers to engage with their brand. The store posts content highlighting vendors, weekly specials, and even contests. Just recently, they offered a poll: What’s your bacon style?
You can’t help but fall in love and interact with this brand. Customers continuously comment, message and engage with Ward’s content and when they do, they are experiencing a brand. They are falling in love with a brand and because of that, they’ll be more likely to spend a little extra on cracked pepper bacon at Ward’s than another local grocery store. See the value?
Blogging is not just a search engine optimization (SEO) stunt. It’s a way to connect with and find customers by providing them valuable information and insights. Readers not only find information that they need in blogs, but they interact with the company’s voice, values, and mentality. All things that make up a company’s brand.
One that has devoted customers coming back for more is Zappos’ “Beyond the Box” blog. This blog has topics from everyday lifestyle to company culture. They use their writing to inform, and include customers almost as if their customers are part of the company.
At PHOS, we’ll be the first ones to tell you that having a beautifully designed website is important. You have roughly 7 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention before they decide to bounce away from your website.
Everything on your website defines your brand. Logo design, color palette, fonts, content, functionality, photography, features, and more. A website should be designed to guide your visitors to where they need to go. When it accomplishes that, your customers will develop an impression of who your company is and why you matter.
One of our favorite organizations to date is Charity Nerds, a local non-profit in our hometown of Gainesville, FL.
Charity Nerd’s website explodes with branded colors, design, language, and functionality. The website offers a user-friendly shop and donation page that allows people to easily donate games and systems for children. It’s not hard to see who the company is on this website and offers an opportunity for customers to really fall in love with who Charity Nerds is and what they do.
The more a customer interacts with and falls in love with your brand, the more likely they are to become devoted customers. The more devoted customers you have, the longer the future of your company. Period.