Loyalty Programs Millennials | Group of students looking at their phones

Improve Millennials’ Experience with a Targeted Loyalty Program

Guest Poster: Kristen Gramigna

BlueKristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm, and also serves on its Board of Directors. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.

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Building a base of loyal customers can be one of the most effective ways to increase your profitability and optimize your customer acquisition costs, but what does it take to win the favor of Millennials (consumers who are currently between 18 to 34 years old)? Here’s a look at how to target Millennials effectively through loyalty programs.

Know what they really value.

A recent study by Bond Brand Loyalty found that nearly 70 percent of those surveyed said they’d change where they shop because of the presence of a quality loyalty program, indicating that Millennials are highly responsive to retailer loyalty programs. However, they’re not attracted for the same reasons as the general population, which tends to value loyalty program discounts first and foremost. Instead, the degree to which the loyalty program includes components of social sharing and acknowledges the Millennial consumer in a way that gives them the opportunity to feel a part of a business matters more than money-saving offers.

Incorporate social sharing elements into Millennial loyalty programs with tactics like VIP sales that acknowledge the consumer’s participation in the event on social media, campaigns that invite customers to create their own images and content and share them on social channels like Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, and social media contests that invite participation in product development and marketing concepts. Read More

What Marketing Needs to Know About Customer Loyalty

What Marketing Needs to Know About Customer Loyalty (Infographic)

Customer retention and loyalty are significant profit drivers for most organizations, as we demonstrated in our own customer retention infographic a few months ago. In most cases, retaining existing customers is more profitable than acquiring new ones.

Are you spending more on marketing than you are on maintaining your current customer base? Statistics on retention like the ones below show that you might want to evaluate that strategy in your own industry and organization.

The folks at Keepify sent us the below infographic: 14 Customer Experience Facts Marketers Can’t Ignore that contains a nice packaging of statistics on customer retention and loyalty.

Read through the infographic and let us know what you think… Read More

The Effortless Experience | Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty

The Effortless Experience: An Interview with Matt Dixon, Part 2

Last Thursday, we released three short video clips in Part 1 from our interview with Matt Dixon, coauthor of The Effortless Experience. Today, we are pleased to share the entire interview, which centers primarily around the idea of customer effort.

The concept of customer effort first began gaining traction back in 2010 when team members from The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB) published an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled Stop Delighting The Customer (preview). Since that time, CEB has expanded its research into the relationship between customer effort and customer loyalty.

Much of this research culminated in the recent book: The Effortless Experience.

The full interview covers a wide variety of topics that were not in the excerpt clips posted last Thursday, including the origins of the research and why customer delight might not be the most effective customer experience strategy.

We hope you enjoy!

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The Effortless Experience | Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty

The Effortless Experience: An Interview with Matt Dixon, Part 1

The concept of customer effort first began gaining traction back in 2010 when team members from The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB) published an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers. Since that time, CEB has expanded its research into the relationship between customer effort and customer loyalty.

Much of this research culminated in the recent book, The Effortless Experience.

The Effortless Experience posits a direct relationship between reducing customer effort and increased customer loyalty. Authors Matt Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Delisi put forth five drivers of disloyalty:

  • Multiple contacts to resolve
  • Generic service
  • Repeating information
  • Perceived additional effort to resolve
  • Transfers

As the list above indicates, the amount of effort a customer puts forth or perceives putting forth with an organization has a direct impact on that customer’s loyalty.

The Effortless Experience Interview

The Effortless Experience | Conquering the New Battleground for Customer LoyaltyOne of the authors of The Effortless Experience, Matt Dixon, was gracious enough to sit down with me and explore some of the key concepts found within The Effortless Experience. You can learn more about Matt’s credentials in his bio below, but I can tell you that the 20 minutes I spent discussing customer effort with Matt resulted in some of the most informative customer service content we have collected on video to date.

We have broken up the interview with Matt into three shorter videos that directly focus on some of my favorite topics from the discussion. Check out those videos below.

Then, make sure to come back Monday to see the full interview with Matt!

Once you’ve explored the 50,000 foot view through the clips below, I highly recommend purchasing a copy of The Effortless Experience. The book provides not only a deeper dive into the concepts discussed below but also explores the execution concepts centered around effort reduction. You can find the book’s Amazon page here. Read More

A Look at Our Customer Retention Infographic: The Video Trailer

We have a new YouTube trailer for our infographic When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers.

Let us know what you think!

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Customer Retention by the Numbers | Customer Service Infographic

When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers (Infographic)

From small businesses to huge corporations, everyone wants to know the secret to keeping customers. How do we earn repeat business for years and years to come?

In the infographic below, we use various customer retention statistics to break down the three most important aspects of customer retention:

  • Why Customers Leave
  • Why Customers Stick, and
  • Why Retained Customers Mean Money

Understanding customer retention begins with understanding the drivers behind customer loyalty and defection, then this understanding must be supported by organizational buy-in to the economic benefits of retention. The retention statistics below can support this process in your organization.

We hope you enjoy the infographic. Please feel free to share it with your colleagues and communities. Read More

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What Is a Customer Worth? | SlideShare ScreenShot

What Is a Customer Worth? Customer Lifetime Value via SlideShare

On November 29, 2011 we posted a “back of the napkin” guide for calculating the economic value a customer brings over their “lifetime” with a business. We designed Understanding Customer Lifetime Value: A Non-Geek’s Guide as a thorough, yet non-academic, approach to determining the lifetime value of customers

The step-by-step process of determining customer lifetime value seemed like a natural fit for SlideShare, so we decided to re-release the post in a presentation format.

See below to learn more about Customer Lifetime Value and for tips to make better decisions about marketing and retention.

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What You Don't Want Me Thinking | Thumbs Down

What You Don’t Want Me Thinking When I Buy From You

The other evening my wife and I were discussing where to go to dinner when I said, “Let’s go to that place with the fancy nachos I like; you know, the one with the crappy service.”

Unfortunately, she knew exactly which place I meant.

Restaurants deliver a product and a service, and the best ones excel at both. This restaurant has a good product, but its service is almost uniformly poor.

What You Don't Want Me Thinking | Thumbs DownThe servers, while nice enough, tend to forget about you for long stretches. The kitchen almost always takes too long to get the food out. And good luck getting the check before the next ice age starts.

We now associate this restaurant with good food and bad service – and that is a terrible place for a business to be, particularly if we are not the only ones who feel that way.

But wait – aren’t you going back there? Aren’t you giving them your business regardless of the poor service? Obviously, the product is good enough that the service doesn’t really matter.

On the surface, this might seem true; however, it does not take into account the hidden costs of poor service. Read More

What Are Customer Complaints? | A Complaint Is a Gift Book Cover

What Are Customer Complaints? They’re Gifts

I mentioned authors Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller in a post a few weeks back entitled The Nicest Customer Service Complaint of All. Barlow and Moller are the authors of the popular customer service book called A Complaint Is A Gift.

In some ways, the title says it all.

A Complaint Is a Gift flips the traditional approach to complaints, viewing them not as hassles but as gifts that organizations should welcome. As the authors point out, our organizations can gain from complaints in many ways, including understanding what is important to our customers and getting ideas for improvements or new products/services.

This is a concept I absolutely love!

What Are Customer Complaints?

In the book, the authors offer this explanation:

“In simplest terms, complaints are statements about expectations that have not been met. They are also, and perhaps more importantly, opportunities for an organization to reconnect with customers by fixing a service or product breakdown. In this way, complaints are gifts customer give to businesses. Everyone will benefit from carefully opening these packages and seeing what is inside.” *

Sure, Adam, that sounds great in a blog post, but let’s be real, complaints… well, they suck.

And that is the essence of the challenge. Read More

If I Lose A Customer | Bottle In Desert

If I Lose a Customer…

…I have failed.

  • If I Lose A Customer | Bottle In DesertFailed to provide enough value.
  • Failed to listen closely enough.
  • Failed to communicate effectively enough.

Not every customer lost is a failure. People move out of the market, people lose the ability to pay, and people’s needs change.

Yet, if I look at my lost customers, the great majority represent a failure on some level. Read More