- Gina Michnowicz
Focus on Customer Experience for Competitive Advantage
Did you know acquiring a new customer costs seven times more than keeping your current customers happy? How about that a loyal customer is likely to spend 67% more than a new one? These numbers from recent customer acquisition research are definitely eye-opening. Happy, loyal customers can make a big impact on your top and bottom lines. That means that customer retention should be top of mind for marketers today.
I certainly have brands that I’m fiercely loyal to. This stems from how they make me feel when I’m engaging with their brand in purchasing cycles and on social media. Why do they make me return over and over again? Because they have a great customer experience.
This is why I said in a recent blog post that performance marketing should integrate customer experiences. It’s crucial to not lose sight of the importance of human connections and flawless, magical experiences.
So what can you do? Here are two tips as a starting point.
1. Discover what’s magical about your products and services, then market that consistently.
If you know me, you know my top example for this is The Walt Disney Company’s amusement parks. We expect that magic will be delivered with a smile in its parks every day. But it doesn’t stop there. Every marketing campaign reinforces that park experience. You may have caught a recent example during the Avengers Campus opening, where Disney Parks worked with influencers to share their Avenger experiences. However, an all-time favorite of mine is their collaboration with Claire Crosby singing a Disney Princess Medley. What a great tie-in to Disney’s content! (This is also a fantastic example of effective storytelling, which I’ll be diving into in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.)
Of course, Disney is all about magic. But there’s magic to be found in every brand. The magic comes from your brand differentiators. For Target, one differentiator is its great product collaborations, such as its Studio McGee and Levi’s collabs. For Apple, it’s delivering the most beautiful, seamless products.
When you’re consistently marketing your magic at every touch point, your brand comes across so much stronger. It also sends the message that customers can count on your brand. This seems like table stakes, but many brands are inconsistent. This inconsistency can allow competitors to take market share over time.
2. Show that your brand really cares about the customer.
You want to create customer experiences that show that you care. This is why the loyalty program was born. However, your brand doesn’t need to have an official loyalty program—but it does need a way to remember special moments with a customer and customer preferences. Loyal customers deserve to be remembered and taken care of. It’s part of what makes a customer return.
For me, the standout brand in this category is Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. The staff at the properties I frequent have an uncanny ability to recall certain details about my family, details that make the whole experience better. They are the ultimate brand ambassadors, the front line to the customer experience.
Of course, there is an opportunity to turn customers into brand ambassadors too—without even paying them. Disney. Apple. Target. Four Seasons. These are brands that are doing it right. (As you can tell, their customer experiences have made me a brand ambassador!)
Ready to assess how your customer experience could be improved? We’re here to help. Just contact us.