In the second part of our blog on Standing out in a crowd – an introduction to the power of ideas, Kevin D’Ambros-Smith outlines how customer engagement benefits your business. Kevin is a business coach with The Icehouse and CEO of Motherbase Consulting Group. He is also an entrepreneur and a specialist in driving business growth and profit.
Put simply, customer engagement and loyalty leads to increased revenue. All you have to do is follow six simple rules.
| Truly understand your customer
Take the mantra from John Russell, former MD at Harley Davidson. It’s probably the greatest piece of customer insight I’ve ever seen. He said: ‘Harley Davidson don’t sell motorbikes. They sell the ability for a 50-year old accountant to ride through small towns and have people be afraid of them.’
It’s genius because what he means by this is that the young tough guys you see in their motorcycle ads don’t really have the money to buy Harley’s – mature professional males do. So this is the perfect example of someone who really grasps what they’re selling, who they are selling to, and how it makes them feel. Get to that point with your customers.
| Know your customer’s future
You can predict your customer’s future in most cases. And why that might sound amazing, it’s entirely rational. Take baby products, for example. If someone’s pregnant, you can’t talk to them about buying a pram when they’ve just had a new-born baby. Mum bought that pram when she was seven months’ pregnant.
You’ve missed the opportunity. But you know that further down the line the parent of a six-month-old baby will be interested in moving to solids. Plot out the customer journey, time it right, and they won’t believe how perceptive you’ve been! Send the right message by talking to the right person at the right time.
| Add a personal touch
Personalised content does 178% better than non-personalised content, according to HubSpot – and you can take this as far as you like. In one of my previous businesses, we’d include a hand-written note with all orders – even if we 300 to 500 orders in a day. That would take about half a day, but it was gold. So add that personal touch! Show you care, and people will care what you’ve got to say. If you’re cold and transactional, there’s never going to be a relationship.
| Find your secret sauce
There are lots of cokes out there, but there’s only one Coca-Cola. There are plenty of burgers, but only one Big Mac.
Everyone can find their secret sauce – it’s just how you package it up. To be unique is about making lots of small incremental gains, and as time goes on, that will equate to one sizeable competitive advantage. Suddenly, people from the outside who are doing the same thing as you won’t understand why you’re doing so well.
It doesn’t happen by chance, however. But if you work every day to ensure your customers feel loved and appreciated every time they engage with you, that’s one big advantage. It’s hard to compete with love, so think about how you can engage with customers. And do it right now.
| Be single-minded
There’s an old advertising saying: ‘Throw someone one ball, and they’ll probably catch it. Throw them six balls, and they’ll probably drop all six.’ Come up with one campaign and keep it simple. Stay single-minded.
| Loyalty beyond reason
If you give people no other reason to shop from you other than price, a customer will quite rationally choose the cheaper price eventually. But once you start doing all those special things – the ‘surprise and delight’ idea – such as rewarding loyalty, answering customer enquiries on time, then that’s how you build loyalty and price becomes less and less relevant.
For more advice on how to drive growth, visit: Motherbase Consultancy Group.
Kevin is a frequent contributor to our ongoing webinar series.
The Icehouse’s Business Coaching service helps you refine your strategy, keep you on track and achieve your business goals.
For more business ownership and leadership advice, check out more of our blogs.