Keeping Customers Happy

This blog post is the third in a series of four on how customer lifecycle marketing works for marketers and organizations seeking to increase revenue and grow loyal customer relationships.

Last month, I shared with you a marketing love story to help explain the difference between the traditional marketing approach and customer lifecycle marketing. Then, I shared the ROI Rules of Customer Attraction to explain how organizations can attract and win over new customers. Now, I’m happy to post the third part in this series, focused not just on keeping customers but keeping customers happy.

Remember in the marketing love story when the lead accepted the marketer’s offer of commitment and they made it official? That’s where this story begins — the lead is now a customer.

The marketer was successful: They were able to initiate, advance and convert a new lead into a new customer. Everyone is happy… it’s the honeymoon stage. However, the slightest disagreement can change it all. As soon as the customer and the marketer disagree on the benefits or value of their relationship, it could mean “splitsville” for the couple. As with any relationship, especially at the beginning, it’s critical to keep the lines of communication open.

Consider these facts:

  • As many as 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. (Source: RightNow)
  • Up to 60% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience. (Source: Desk)
  • Of US online individuals who had an “enjoyable” service experience to resolve an issue, 92% are likely to purchase again and 90% are likely to recommend the brand to someone else. (Source: Forrester Research, North American Technographics® Customer Life Cycle Survey, Q1 2013)

So how can organizations [and marketers] keep customers happy?

ROI Rules for Keeping Customers Happy

Great relationships, regardless of the type of relationship, have three critical elements in common:

  1. Clear Expectations. Whether it’s expectations on what the product or service will do, how it will be supported or even the value that will be gained from it, customers need to know exactly what to expect with a product or service.
  2. Great Communication. Every conversation, all content and all engagement has to occur when the customer wants it – and when they need it. A huge component of this is listening. It’s impossible to provide captivating content or engagements without knowing what the customer needs.
  3. Absolute Trust. People want to do business with companies they can trust. From protecting their privacy and personal information, trust they will do the right thing, and trust the value their relationship.   Take away any of these three and the relationship is at risk.

Marketers who are able to execute each of these rules for keeping customers happy will find they are retaining more of the right kind of customers, improving customer retention rates and setting themselves up for business success. However, it doesn’t end there. Stay tuned for my next and final chapter in this “romance novel,” to learn more about how marketers can grow the right relationships with customer lifecycle marketing.