It’s no surprise a positive customer experience is necessary for a successful business. But as organizations grow, they often focus on scaling, process and acquisition instead…as a result, becoming more impersonal toward their customers. (Although many brands are finally starting to realize customer retention remains paramount for success.)
Keeping customers loyal is about making them feel valued, recognized and appreciated. They need to believe you care about them at a personal level.
Apply customer appreciation tactics to your customer experience strategy and see how they boost long-term customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention.
How Psychology Affects Customer Loyalty
Decisions are often driven by emotions, which influence how and when customers buy—whether they’re conscious of it or not.
If you factor emotional decision-making into your customer experience, you can foster positive emotional connections that reinforce the value your brand is delivering. For example, if an upset customer approaches your customer care team with a problem and they’re treated with empathy and above-and-beyond service, they’re more likely to become a brand advocate for life.
Emotional states can provide brands with opportunities to start two-way conversations and build strong customer relationships. Now more than ever, as customers are faced with an overwhelming number of products (many of unknown quality), they’re looking for organizations and brands they can trust. True loyalty is created at the intersection of a brand’s ability to build emotional connections and a customer’s expectations being met and exceeded.
How to Add Customer Appreciation in Your Marketing Strategy With Breakthrough Touchpoints
Showing customer appreciation with a breakthrough touchpoint is a proactive approach to engaging customers and proving you recognize and value their business.
This approach includes an organization’s efforts to not only surprise or thank customers, but also to meaningfully apologize when necessary. While every organization hopes they won’t ever have a need to apologize to their customers, planning for such circumstances is a customer-retention must. Depending on the study you look at, anywhere between 50%–80% of customers make a second purchase based on a positive interaction, and that same percentage stays with a brand after a negative interaction if the brand makes it right.
Surprise-and-delight experiences humanize the brand. You can deliver by making sure you hit the meaningful touchpoints in customers’ lives (not only the big brand moments, but also the small ones).
Leverage a breakthrough touchpoint in critical moments to ensure your brand builds enough goodwill and equity with customers to withstand bumps in the relationship, giving you an advantage against your competition for customer mindshare.
Related: Dive deeper into how to leverage breakthrough touchpoints with your customers.
4 Customer Appreciation Tips to Add to Your Strategy
Finding innovative ways to show appreciation and stay connected to customers can be challenging, but luckily there are many ways to use breakthrough touchpoints to capture attention. Here are some of our experts’ favorite tips and examples of brands that are doing exactly that.
1. Hook Existing Customers With Innovative Campaigns & Enticing Prizes
Build stronger, authentic relationships with your existing customers by tying campaigns to your brand’s purpose and playing up the existing relationships.
For example, one of our retail clients wanted to drive meaningful enrollment increases, so they offered everyone who enrolled by a certain date a small, branded gift. Additionally, new participants were entered into a drawing where three winners would receive the perfect room remodel for their home. Through the campaign, the organization saw a double digit YOY increase in enrollment, and the three lucky customers who won the contest formed an unbreakable emotional connection with the brand.
2. Give Them Special Exclusive Offers
Exclusivity feeds into the emotional need to feel noticed and special. By presenting certain customers exclusive rewards and offers to show your appreciation, you can encourage customer loyalty and strengthen their existing emotional connection to the brand.
For example, one automotive client wanted to incent employees of their agency partners and vendors to make purchases through an exclusive offer for a new vehicle. We helped them create a communication campaign to drive education and excitement for the program, keeping it top of mind throughout the year. The result? A 1150% ROI and $12M in incremental profit.
3. Send Them a Little Something
Small simple gestures often don’t cost much when you compare them with the lifetime value of a loyal customer. This doesn’t have to be an extravagant gift—it can be as simple as an exclusive offer.
For example, one pest control client had a subset of enrolled customers who were delinquent on their quarterly payment. The brand had been trying to collect without much success. We created a limited time offer for “dinner on us” to customers who made their account current immediately. The offer was delivered via a personal call to personalize it. The little unexpected gift generated a 10:1 ROI in just a three-day campaign.
4. Revitalize Your Legacy Loyalty Program or Experience
Customers and markets change over time, so what they find meaningful needs to likewise evolve. If your customer experience is feeling stagnant or no longer getting the results you need, look for ways to deliver extra value at critical moments to breathe new life into your customer relationships.
For example, one of our financial services clients had a subset of mortgage customers who were eligible for a special offer when they closed on their loan, but cash wasn’t resonating. They needed something more memorable that spoke to their customers’ experience. Together, we came with a curated set of awards themed around home goods, fitness, cooking and wellness—all of which were important to the specific audience. Targeted communications kept the offer top of mind and reinforced its value. And the curated, relevant awards and timely communications generated a double-digit increase in close rate for customers who knew about the offer.
Use Customer Appreciation Tactics to Earn Loyalty
The value of positive customer experiences cannot be denied. As you work to grow your brand, be sure to keep the customer in mind. And remember, we’re here to help come up with the perfect strategy to amplify your relationship with customers.
Today’s customers are searching for authentic brands who take care of them, appreciate their business and share their values. And if you’re one of those brands, they’ll show their appreciation through continued loyalty and increased spend.
Looking for the right breakthrough touchpoints at the right moments to show your customers how much you appreciate them? Let’s talk.