The simple act of recognition can be a powerful loyalty driver. Using your customer’s name, remembering what they bought last time, enquiring about their last purchase. These are all things that make a customer feel like you know them. And in this “always on” world we live in today, successful brands will be the ones that make you feel like it is easier to do business with them. A real life example of this was my experience recently when I logged onto my Kiwibank internet banking and I received this message below:
I thought it was a sweet customer recognition idea. I love it as it doesn’t cost anything to recognise customers and really makes customers feel that their bank is looking after them – as an individual. And happy customers buy more from you. You don’t need a business case to tell you that.
I always find it interesting when a client comes to me with a customer retention issue and the first question they want to know is – “why are customers leaving us?”. Because I’m not sure that is always the best question to ask. In the famous words (well almost) of Janet Jackson maybe you should be asking yourself “what have we done for them lately?”.
Obsessing on why customers left you is futile as 9 times out of 10 they will always say they left because of price. And using price as a retention tool is not sustainable long term. But if you put the spotlight on what your brand has done to show loyalty to the customer since they have been with you I think you will get to an entirely different place.
Challenge yourself – what have you done for your customers recently to earn their loyalty?
Qantas have recently come up with another way to reward their frequent flyers – specially curated books that flyers are able to finish just as the plane touches down. It’s called “Stories for Every Journey,” and is a collection of bespoke books, each of which promises to last only for the duration of one of the airline’s routes.
I thought this was a novel (pardon the pun) way of rising to the challenge of engaging with frequent flyers who, at the top end are probably not as driven by points accumulation as your average flyer. I love it from a customer point of view as it simply excites me about travel again. When you are a frequent flyer, you are probably doing it for work and subsequently it turns into a bit of a chore and just a way of getting from A to B. But with these books I’d be chomping at the bit to get on board and have some “me” time rather than work time. Which is a nice association for the brand to have and also the book gives you a very tactile experience. You’d probably pass the book onto colleagues as well so would have a decent life span.
They have skewed the books to a male audience – so think crime, adventure and sci-fi but would be great to see this evolved to be driven by a customer’s preference. It would also be interesting to think about whether a digital experience would be more appealing to some customers. In terms of appealing to a more female skew, this idea reminds me on an initiative at Heathrow Terminal 1 some years ago where frequent flyers where given the opportunity to customise their own magazine before they boarded a flight.
But in general I thought it was another great demonstration of a brand being loyal to a customer and really getting the experience they have.