“How do we stand out against the competition?”
Unless you have invented a product or service the world has never seen before, most businesses have asked this question. In fact, even if you have created something brand new, it is still as challenging as ever for businesses to reach all of the right people they need to reach in order to achieve their version of success.
In the world of consumer goods, it used to be that a company could compete on price, but now many of the world’s top and most trusted names in consumer goods are building SKUs for every price point. “The fact of the matter is, that price becomes about a race to the bottom, and God forbid you actually win,” says client experience expert Joey Coleman. Since the Total Quality Management craze of the 80’s swept the manufacturing world, it has even become tough to compete on quality.
“So, what’s left?” asks Coleman. Customer experience.
“The experience you create for your customer is the last great differentiator,” he reminds us.”For all sizes of companies and across all industries, it is true to say that all clients, regardless of company, are people and people are looking for experiences that are remarkable, memorable and that they haven’t experienced in business before.”
Focus on engagement, not loyalty.
Coleman says that looking at customer experience and retention through a traditional loyalty program type of approach puts too much emphasis on the business’ expectation of the customer to be loyal to them. “It’s based on me projecting my needs and my expectations onto you.”
“What’s great about engagement is that I need to own at least 50% of it. It’s my job to engage with you, interact with you and create opportunities for connection. That’s where the difference can be made.”
With the incredible rate at which new companies are appearing and bringing new competition to the business world, customer retention has become more important than ever.Every marketer knows the importance of ensuring that you maintain relations with your existing customer base, rather than dedicating all resources to simply “chasing strangers.” Coleman believes that companies around the world today have a gaping hole that they are not addressing: the number of people who are leaving their company.As he puts it, “the number of clients who sign on, but leave out the back door as quickly as they came in the front.”
In 360’s world of SaaS, the generally accepted rate of this churn (a shocking turn of phrase by itself – notes Coleman) is around 18%.(Ours is zero, by the way!)Coleman says a broader look across industries shows abandonment rates between 20 and 60% of customers. He has also determined that the bulk of the exiting happens within the first 100 days of the business relationship.
He concludes, “That’s how long you have to make deposits in the karmic bank account that are going to allow you to stand against competition, build engagement, build interaction. So when you slip up, that engagement protects the relationship.”
Below is a video interview with Joey Coleman shot in 360’s corporate head office. For more on Joey, please check out his website, www.joeycoleman.com
Jason is the Content and Community guy at 360Incentives.com Connect with Jason on Twitter @JayKing71, LinkedIn or Google+ 360 is changing the world of incentives. To find out how, book a call with us now!