“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Many businesses enthusiastically embrace technology to show customers they appreciate their business. Oftentimes, though, messages “personalized” by technology come across to customers as calculated or impersonal.
Perhaps it would help to get back to the basics. After all, for our customers to believe we appreciate them, they need to feel an emotional connection to us.
As Harvard Business Review article tell us: “On a lifetime value basis, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers. These emotionally connected customers buy more of your products and services, visit you more often, exhibit less price sensitivity, pay more attention to your communications, follow your advice, and recommend you more – everything you hope their experience with you will cause them to do. Companies deploying emotional-connection-based strategies and metrics to design, prioritize, and measure the customer experience find that increasing customers’ emotional connection drives significant improvements in financial outcomes.”
Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts us up. It creates a measure of happiness, and happy buyers are more likely to spread the word about your company, as well as to continue purchasing from you. They help build your brand’s reputation.
Here are some facts that show the benefits of having a strategy to thank our customers for their business:
- 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.
- On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
- It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
- For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent (and unhappy).
- 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again.
Acknowledging customers for their business remains a vital part of any overall marketing plan because it:
- Makes you stand out. Companies who succeed in competitive markets use customer appreciation to differentiate. They offer the positive customer experiences that transforms buyers into customer evangelists.
- Helps keep customers. You’ve seen the statistic: It costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing buyers. Customer appreciation is a money-saver.
- Reduces negative word of mouth. Unhappy customers complain to their circle of influence. Customers who don’t feel valued complain to 9-15 of their friends and family – and those 9-15 people may pass along the negative word to others.
- Improves lifetime value of customer. Customer appreciation directly impacts the revenue a buyer generates. Simply put, when you increase the lifetime value of a customer, you boost the return on your marketing dollar.
- Reduces customer attrition. Customers who feel appreciated remain brand-faithful. Price is not the main reason for customer attrition. Buyers leave when they believe they are regarded as a statistic – when no emotional connection is apparent.
- Predicts consumer repurchase intentions and loyalty. Customers who feel valued will buy from you again. Loyalty means they will likely stick with you even when it’s more convenient for them to go elsewhere.
Now that we’ve shared the ‘why’ behind customer appreciation, you’re probably wondering ‘how’ to go about it. Stay tuned! The next article in this series will include actionable no- and low-cost ways to show appreciation to your customers.
Update: Part 2 is now posted! Discover 14 ways to show customers that you care.