Categories

Happy customers or Loyal fans - which does your business have?

Happy customers versus loyal fans.


Happy customers are often on the top ten list of business goals, but what does that really mean?

A customer is happy if their last experience with your brand was a good one.  It's a moment in time thing - I got great customer service or I loved the painless online check out.

Happy, says you met their immediate needs and hopefully left them feeling good about their decision to choose you over the alternatives. With luck, there's a good chance that this customer will come back for more.

What if three months later, that same customer revisits your store or website and the staff have changed or the interface has been updated. Now they might not be able to find what they need. There's no number to call, the customer service is non existent. Are they still happy?

Loyal fans are more than happy customers 

They are completely bought into your brand. They're so convinced of your product that even when you don't deliver to their expectations, they will still continue to favour you, (for a while) because they want to believe in the promises your brand makes.

Humans, like dogs, have an inbuilt need to be loyal.  Maybe you always go to the same garage to have your car serviced, (even though it's not the cheapest) or you wear a particular label (despite it being dry clean only), but in these heady days of limitless choice, our loyalties are regularly tested.

Business goals aimed at making customers consistently happy, through repeatable great experiences lead to loyal fans.











In a world where perception is 99% reality, keeping the promises your brand makes, will take you beyond happy customers and boost returns for years to come.

Think longterm.

Respect is earned.
Honesty is appreciated.
Trust is gained.
Loyalty is returned.



Comments



Marketing tips from unlikely sources - Hairdressers

dog, afro, hairdressers, marketing

This post in one in a series, where I take a break from my usual rantings, to consider the marketing lessons which lurk right under our noses.

Other random observations can be found here - dog breeders, cinemas, children and even Father Christmas - enjoy.

******************************************************************************

Hairdressers in various forms have been around for centuries, perfecting a customer service model which most online brands could benefit from replicating.  Bear with me and all will be made clear.


1. It's not about you



Steven Covey famously said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  In other words, I don't really care about your business, I want to know what's in it for me.  Hairdressers get this.  You show up, take the chair and the first thing the stylist typically asks is 'what are we doing today?' Instantly you (the customer) are in the driving seat, talking about your wants and needs, not listening to what the salon has to sell.

Once you've told them what prompted your visit they'll begin to make suggestions, which either stretch your comfort zone (how about a restyle) or reassure you that they can solve your problem (your frizz will be returned to glory in no time).  Stylists know what they're capable of, but they want their customers to feel in control of the process. They make it personal.  Do you?


2. Think beyond your main product



Sure you'll get your haircut, but to keep that feel good factor high, what about a drink, free wifi, a glossy magazine and possibly even a head massage. Hairdressers want their customers to be continually reassured that they've made the right choice and these little extras all help with our self talk (yes I am worth it, maybe I should also get a manicure, they care about me and I like this experience, so I should book my next session now.)

Customers may set out to address a specific problem, through that oh so important keyword search, but ultimately we're easily distracted by things we find along the way.  What about a free ebook, sign up to the newsletter, buy your ticket now?  Customers decide what's valuable to them and it's probably not your main service that keeps them coming back for more.


3. Build a relationship



Hairdressers often find themselves as confidants.  Their loyal clientele share the minutia of everyday life, revelling in an honesty which can only come from looking your worst in a mirror filled room. Over time, we take advice on not just hair related matters, but on what to watch and read, the restaurants to book, holidays to take - you get the idea.

It's that all important trust factor, which turns passing trade into repeat customers.  It makes you the 'go to'.  It keeps you top of mind, so you're the first person to be recommended.  Seth Godin wrote a whole book around the concept of permission marketing which is well worth a read.

Do you manage your customers to the point of sale and then skip into the sunset, or do you have a relationship which creates a loyal following?  Social media has made it easier than ever to engage with customers - ignore it at your peril.


4. Inspire your customers



Hairdressers change their hair on a regular basis.  Between visits my stylist goes from short to long, blonde to pink and throws in a perm, just to show what's possible.  While I suspect myself and 99% of her customers get 'the usual' every time they visit, it doesn't mean we don't appreciate the variety.

Sometimes we just want to know that someone is keeping on top of the latest trends so we don't have to.  Could you curate third party posts or produce a regular top 10 list of what's hot for your industry? Also think about how your brand is currently perceived and what you could be doing to show you're at the cutting edge (every pun intended).


5. Have some check out extra's



Running low on shampoo?  Have you tried this fabulous new ...?  Wallet in hand to pay for the main event, it's very easy to add a little extra to the bill.  In our minds we prolong the joy by taking something tangible home and we trust the recommendations of those who've just brought our tired locks back to life.  Hairdressers use our feel good high, to raise their revenues, while we interpret it as extra attention to our needs.

When your customers check out, do you send them a boring old thank you page, or do you return a list of further reading links, downloads, surprise discounts etc.  The last impression is often as important as the first, especially when you want customers to bookmark your site.  Make it memorable.



Hairdressers build experiences, (Osadia take this to new limits).  The most successful ones entertain, inform and inspire in equal measure. Let's stop sharing information and create businesses which touch our customers and keep them coming back for more.


Don't know how?  Ask me.


Comments



THE best way to create word of mouth

When was the last time you recommended a product or company to a friend? What made you do it?

In my experience, it's the last interaction that prompts us to share our experience with others.   The surprise element (good or bad), that sticks in our minds.  The companies which delight us, by validating our decision to spend our money with them.  Those products, which exceed our expectations and make us feel like we got a bargain.  It's the unexpected care and attention that becomes our dinner party story, not the glossy sales brochure or the flashy website.

Often companies are so focused on making a good first impression, that they forget what happens beyond the initial sale.  Lead generation is always on the Marketers agenda, with after sales service way down on the list of priorities.

As the world gets more social, it's relatively easy to 'like' something on Facebook without risking our reputation, but it's the contacts we share on a one to one basis that really show our loyalty.

What could you be doing to make a lasting impression?


Comments



See Older Posts...