The Way to Build Customer Relationships Part One.
Customers are tired of Loyalty Points programs that make it too difficult to use, too confusing to understand or take too long to earn a reward. Also, they want rewards that have enough value to make it worthwhile to participate.
But rewards alone will not keep a customer loyal. Loyalty programs are about relationships…the communication connection between the customer and the staff or management personnel.
It is so easy to dehumanize a loyalty program by talking in terms of sales, customer visits, repeat customers, retention rates, participation rates, enrolment and other jargon. That is the ‘how’ but not the ‘essence’ of a loyalty program. The spirit of a loyalty program is to make a connection between people. It’s about creating a bond. Customers are looking to be recognized as a person, a valued friend or acquaintance…not another number or customer record.
“Brands that build collaborative relationships with their customers (and their employees) find that more rewards aren’t the answer, more emotionally rewarding experiences are.” quote from ‘How to Keep Your Customer Loyalty Program from Being Pointless by Charles Trevail at www.fastcompany.com
Customers want happiness from their shopping experiences; it’s more than getting a great ‘deal’ although that does play an important role. Consumers want the feeling of pleasure from their purchase whether for themselves (self-satisfaction) or the anticipation (fulfillment) of giving a pleasing gift.
To raise the emotional level of the shopping experience, understand there are important distinctions in creating relationships with customers. People generally fall into four different personality groups. Although everyone has a mix of the various personality types, usually one type predominates.
Approximately 50% of customers, ‘Circles’, like to have fun and connect with others. They care and want to share family news or important events in their lives as well as hear personal news from staff or the business. They like to visit so relax and chat with them. A good question to ask…“Is this a gift or for yourself?”
The ‘Squiggle’ personality is creative but impatient. Idea people, they tend to drive others bonkers. As they dance to their own drummer, they will tackle issues with zest with minimal awareness of others. They love to try new things but quickly get distracted. Often, they speak first and think later. They are flexible, high energy people so give them the most important information quickly. Next, ask “How do they see this product being used in their household?” and listen for their ideas.
A small percentage, ‘Triangles’, are confident, take-charge people who like the bottom-line. They tend to be impatient, outspoken and enjoy debating or arguing. Very competitive, don’t be surprised if they want to know if this is your ‘best’ price. Remember to list all the features and give them the bottom-line; they enjoy being educated so feel free to demonstrate the product.
The final group, ‘Squares’, are more business-like who often feel ‘fun’ is a luxury. Very loyal and hardworking, they are organized people who want the facts in an orderly manner, what they can expect for discounts, and advance news of up-coming events. Don’t keep them waiting. They just want to be in and out with consistent courtesy.
Visit www.ConniePodesta.com for an explanation of personality shapes assessment.
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