Every human being has to feel part of a tribe.

It’s programmed into us.

And you have to feel that you’re contributing to something.

­­                                    —Steven Hatfill, Scientist

 

Only 38% percent of customers are truly devoted to a brand. But these core customers are gold. They will go out of their way to get their favorite product or service, and they ignore the rest. They are their reliable purchasers, and they also become unofficial brand ambassadors. Their opinions count. Recommendations by family and friends are five times more influential than endorsements by celebrities and other influencers.

Therefore, what would happen if you approached marketing, from the perspective that your customers are a valued part of your marketing team?

Provide Customers with a Great Emotional Experience

While that may seem obvious, according to Forrester Research, most companies don’t make a concerted effort to improve the customer experience. Instead, the vast majority aim just to do as well (or as poorly) as their competitors. But they do so at their own peril: Forrester has also found that a customer’s emotional experience is more important to brand loyalty than a company’s effectiveness. We have seen this over and over in our agency with our clients.

Companies’ effort is quantifiable. Elite brands provide customers with an average of 22 positive experiences for each negative experience.

The lowest-performing brands provide customers with two positive experiences for each negative one. Imagine that. What company can afford to have customers walk out disappointed or upset one-third of the time?

Gallup has found that only 27% of employees say their companies actually honor promises made to their customers, in terms of quality and service. For example, they miss promised delivery dates, they make customers wait for service longer than promised. And so on.

Now think of all this, in terms of your core customers. When you give customers a positive experience, you remind them why they’re devoted to you. You’re giving these brand ambassadors stories to tell their friends and families – word of mouth recommendations speaks volumes. Even occasional missteps can be forgiven because they’re so few and far between and always viewed by the brand as an opportunity to create a deeper personal connection with an attentive fix.

 

Ask Your Best Customers What They Want

 

To improve your customers’ experience, market research is a great tool. In-depth research will help you learn where they come from, what they like, and what other services they need that you can provide.

Or perhaps you could ask more frequent customers to write testimonials for your website.

Ask them for their ideas on how to improve your services, and if you implement them, thank them on social media. The point is to recognize your best clients’ contributions to your company. Let them know you value more than their money. You value them.

By strengthening your relationship with them, you build a presence in the community and target the exact clientele you want—more customers who love you.

For more ideas on marketing, and building a devoted core of customers, check out our Wicked Marketing our podcast, or to contact us directly.

 

Carlos Sapene and Dana C. Arnett from Wicked Bionic

Authors of Influence Over Coffee – How to Gain It or Use it in Social Media 

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