Human Connection Is The Key To Retention
By Emmanuel Raheb, CEO Smart Age Solutions
Still think high customer satisfaction is the best way to get repeat business?
The reality is that many of your competitors also have highly satisfied customers. If they didn’t, they’d be out of business. Anybody can sell a $3000 pair of earrings but what value are you providing other than the earrings themselves? What differentiates the top companies from the rest is that they are able to form positive emotional connections with their customers.
The Harvard Business Review found that an important driver of emotional connections is customer experience. A big way to deliver an impactful customer experience is by satisfying customer desires. That goes beyond simply delighting your customers through excellent service. In fact, excellent service has become the baseline of an excellent customer experience. If you want to make an impact on your customers, you must go above and beyond—you must appeal to their deeper emotions.
The key emotions to satisfy in customers that the HBR lists are:
- The desire to stand out from the crowd
- The desire to have confidence in the future
- The desire to enjoy a sense of well-being
- The desire to feel a sense of freedom, thrill, or belonging
- The desire to protect the environment
- The desire to feel secure
- The desire to succeed in life
There is great financial incentive to developing an emotional connection with your existing customer base. It’s anywhere between 5 and 25 more times expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. That means the more time you spend working on your products or services, the higher return you’ll get with your existing customer base. There is research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company that concluded that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increased profits by 25% to 95% (HBR). All companies should be expanding into the digital space in order to create opportunities to interact with customers. After all, you can’t interact with your customers if you aren’t in the same place that they are.
A big reason that customers leave is because they think businesses don’t care about them. Businesses can come across this way to customers when the businesses begin to focus too much on their competition.
I like to use Amazon as an example because they do so many things right. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, likes to focus on Amazon’s customers when looking for opportunities. He explains that a customer-first mindset is the only way to establish your company as a leader in the marketplace.
The best way to adopt a customer-first mentality as a company is to look for gaps in your customer experience. Are you staying in touch with your customers after their purchases through email marketing? Are you interacting with them constantly on social media?
There are so many opportunities that the digital space creates for companies looking to create a solid customer experience across all channels. That means that you, as a jeweler, must shift your focus away from your competitors and towards your customers so you can take advantage of the powerful value-building tools you have available.