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Posts Tagged ‘customers’

Trust is probably the most rare thing to win, in the battle of competition, where all offers seem similar and mainstream. And while there is crisis, increasing the need for security, truth and transparency, trust becomes an unavoidable fact and skill. But above all, the derivated effects on business are out of limits, when you know how mesure and class them into smart groups. Because, the more trust you give/put, the more you are opened to loyalty, and then addict to brand and consumption.

Bearing in mind these groups, means having dedicated actions, plans and tone to address and hold several kinds of relations, customized to reality of relation. Let’s have a look at these groups/segments and the fine tuning to get the best of them.

It’s interesting to capture all the intelligence and trust you can find on social networks. And the resources you can leverage to nurture the « social effect » until the snowball. Check at the profile you can pretend within the 4 frequent types of digital implements: leaders, pioneers, scholars or novices. Each of them has a level of maturity , in engagement, knowledge and practicing of social media. We know now how social media can leverage trust and foster all efforts done by traditional promotion. The more you facilitate and offer a whole environment of engaging with your customers, the more you’ll get a builded trust with communication and Q/A from all the community, whatever the group of participant you are in. And this, while we saw very different behaviors in the segments therefore, and the consequences on revenue, loyalty and trust. If we could resume in one main thinking is : « seed, nurture and enlight the social energy in your communities, they’ll give you back lots of engaged trust ». Personaly, I do agree and foster this behavior, and moreover it’s very enjoyable to work and exchange like that…Feeling and hold the happiness level in business, may drive you to a kind of bliss and lead the brand to another values’ environment.

1) Hazard and Doubt: it always starts with this…Do you, personnaly give anyone, from the beginning, trust? It’s quite rare to bring such trust, despite spend more time and experiences, with any brand. And the rule is on for business and ability to give more money. The best action you can lend to these “beginners”: meet them and know, at first sight, what they’re looking for…

2) Triers: OK, you triggered the first reaction and you maybe heard a few details about the brand or products and just want to try. It makes you a perfect segment to have a first exception experience, to go further. The next goal is not probably spend more, but first become a fan, to hold the relation and discover the next surprise. Triers deserve the best first promotion or sample, kind of you’ll never forget. It’s not a question of “a lot” but more a question of “the whaou effect”.

3) Price hunters: ready for any promotion, they seem to be real transparent with no particularly awareness for the brand but the price. They can spend an average part, according to the proportion of rebate, and are attracted by “shots”, deals anytime that “worths” it. Now you know that language can be “figures” and promotions for that kind of segment, becaude they focus their attention to consume “rebates” of the brand, anyshape they may be. So the question is right now to stay aside, feeding them with prices but tempting a subtile charling approach of storytelling around the prices’ universe. Unfortunately, Price and rebate is not a long term debate and can’t be the only message, valuating the brand. That segment can be shifted toward “pay-to-see” ones, who are more curious and can be lead to another story, deeper and less price-driven.

4) Hot shooters: the ultime and extremism verse of price hunters, they have only one advantage, in “build-measure-learn” process inspired from the lean management: speed. They trigger any promotion and jump on any opportunity to make a deal. Even if they don’t need sometimes, just to have impression to close a good deal and play the leader role. “I control and have an extreme footprint on the brand because I make it perform efforts and deals for me. But we all know there’s so many “fake deals” and the complete energy that brands are able to invest in, is just sometimes incredible…

5) Pay-to-See: They are very discret, don’t make any noise but stare at the brand like a curious thing, ready to try something, but don’t know what and how. They need some teaching steps that allow them to enter in relation, smartly and with “try-and-buy” process. Build some “games” or contest which give them an opportunity to start an interactive relation, with no mandatory transaction. They will decide if they enter themselves in a “payment” posture, to taste the stickability or trustiness of the brand, or simplier test an offer they identified. Choose the trigger and catch the attention may be the two keys to get into relation for them…

6) Fan: let’s say you lived on an island and never heard about “fan” or “like” fever…and can’t imagine which kind of profile we have? And of course it’s where tha value and potential is with the rationnal evolution from “Fan” to “Come backer” to “Ambassador”. The tipping point and snowball effet are not obvious to trigger and scale but is worthy enough to pay attention since the beginning. Play, engage, make them participate in any “transactional”, while they stare at the “smart” brand and are supposed to be the next first adopters. They are fans, they like the brand, but probably didn’t find any opportunity to buy. And some will stay, remaining as true “ambassadors” without consuming. Yes, it’s possible, valuable and true. Check at it!

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7) Come backers: some buy, some buy again. They are. They tried and probably are satisfied, and do it again. They start a returning relation, want to see more, consume moreover. Ok, that’s fine, you found some engaged customers to build on. Don’t miss yourself or be wrong with the message, they want your products, your relation but don’t want to be disappointed. They come from the early stages, fan or already consumer of the brand, they are not novice and probably “in the know” of the story, range or uses of the brand environment. Maybe they’re part themselves of a buyers’ environment, that guided them there. Whatever their reasons, you can rely on their relation. They did, and did it again. Not by random or foolish choice. They choose to remind you and buy your essence again. Reward them and meet their uses with your next features.

8) Ambassadors: that’s it, you are in and here we are. You achieved a performer level, having transformed mainstream customers to ambassadors. Ones that you can count on, anytime because they’re gonna be your next salesperson and your best defender. They can trigger their own advise for people who are not clients yet, convince some to jump and discover your brand and products. They are your best PR’s, arms and mouth, to spread the word about who you are, what you do and what are your values. This incredible force was far ignored before social web and has now power like never. But you know which efforts you did to bring such energy to that point of achievement. This is the ultimate step for trust, before fanatics, who could be, in a way, obsessed and dangerous. Shortly, never lose an ambassador, it could be really weaknessing your salespitch and your footprint to the community.

9) Roadies: they work hard to follow your ventures, but don’t have much revenues. They want to be at your side, in desperate long run, at all your events, doing or not, some evidences of loyalty. They like your brand, products, but for other people than their own consumption. They could be considered as “triers” in the term, but prefer be “angels”, worrying about your brand reputation and the future ongoing for you. They are “silent agent” who can give voice if they consider you in danger or being corrupted or attacked, by default. Your best “friends”, with probably less direct impact on your revenur, but keeping care of your “body”: local bodyguards, in a way…

10) Safe and Care/Admirers: the next kind is probably the most invisible, but exists. But this fact doesn’t mean that you must not stare at them, as interesting elements of your audience. They surround you, never took time or just a lift, to signal their friendship to you, but think of your brand as “cool, smart, trustable and reliable”. They have no reason to get into relation, because of lack of time, money or opportunity to get in. But they care, in an invisible “touch”. What can you consider and learn from them? The single fact that, your whole communication can sometimes risk them to be disappointed, without knowing it, so be careful for that segment too, who could wake up and give voice in the future. Voice or money, triggered by an event you can’t plan before. Just like clouds, they are energy who supports you and collaborate to your reputation, like silent witness. They deserve to be considered, like any other target, their way: “enjoy the beauty, the traction and the footprint of your brand”.

“With trust, you can raise mountains”, because you erase the last barriers to the core: the real conversation, emptied of politics, cosmetics and fakery between an environment (brand, company, organisation, people, products) and an individual. That’s where start great stories, and build a sustainable relation. That’s where we see, that relation is not only a matter of money, but lots of other things to consider, that probably in the end, grow tour business. Up to you to see and deal with it.

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I am a customer. You are. We are. But if we sometimes have unstoppable pulse for something to buy. And if it’s possible that’s probably because we learned HOW to buy…Think it’s no sense? I mean, there’s probably a path for us to learn how to make better shopping,  You’re now wondering how we stand for this and where we come from, to consider there’s a “school for buying”, kind of “step-by-step” education with knowledge, behavior and techs.

See for example, social shopping, as it’s easier to get something valuable from anybody before buying anything, the contact and influence abilities have explosed with social web and communities. Living a valuable experience leads you to want to speak of it and share it with “friends”. But living a disaster in a shopping act, drives to danger as well. We can say that, facing these new behaviors, we get more aware of our sensibility, in a relation, standing for a buying decision. And we do, brands and professional shoppers must stand for a new way of convincing consumers.

 

 

1) for a good sale, now how to make you “bought”:

How incredible it can be, doing a good sale starts as you may be desirable, and slowly being bought “pulled” than pushed by salesmen. Customer has to get value, beyond the simple buying act and be aware of giving money to acquire use and pleasure. Increasing passion for consuming, means for a brand being in an “always-on” growing experience, that gives customers a kind of addictive lesson: clues, rewards, games, viral behaviors…all shapes of masterclass can be driven to get customers in a breathless stand. Doing so, giving you an exclusive advantage taking and keeping the attention of your potential customers to come again. Customers that may come to buy again and learn how to make a better choice, buying act and say it to lots of potential non customers. The learning process is so started, enabled and accepted, by the fact customers wait for a regular conversation (offer push, informations, promotions…). They can so share all this whole “nurturing” process with friends and closest contacts.

2) the jungle of knowledge and information:

We used to live in a “modern and urban” jungle: noises, trouble, movements, all that can scramble messages and sheer essence of information: “giving pieces of knowledge to improve awareness”. Boost of media, mobility and our addiction to information (being secured as being someone who “knows”) keeps us apart from core information in fact. I just only regret this huge amount of information troubles the ability anyone has to judge something relevant. And maybe the next goal is to “know better” than really “know more”. Web, crawlers, indexation and sort, RSS and bookmarking can help to make the real difference. Comparisons sites only adress the “how much” side of buying act, and even comments, forums or moderation can sometimes be “tricked” as well. The DNA of social shopping is an interesting side of what could help us to cope with the forest of offers we stand…or not.

3) profiling and getting clues:

Modern shopping is discovering how to be discovered. Checking footsteps of every move and buy. Being profiled to get more advantages of being a customer. Then your walk is finding clues delivering you more knowledge about what you really like, how you really live and why you are buying things you buy. Getting these clues, is according to be naked and low your defenses about curiosity, and some faces of your private life. Answering surveys, getting vouchers and use it will increase your participation and the road to your tastes. The best shop in the world will give you the following promotions after considering your full profile and buy after buy, you enhance your ability to choose more and better: an achievement in your buyer’s job…Experience is enlightning your passed path and allows you to drive better. Give a little of yourself, piece after piece…to reveal you in the light of your buyer’s profile: all you need is participate, give truth and transparency, because if so, you’ll have a bright payback. The scale of auto-learning…levelling your own experience and awareness for consuming.

4) stairway to heaven: the moment of truth:

You did go up for this intoxicating moment and like it: you ask for more. I said addictive, you know, you see?

Brands that can manage all these process softly, with an incredible experience of service, are not really intrusive, but just like your best friend…personal shopper? best trend setter? You reborn: relearning how to buy, you become more aware of promotions, messages and delight of leading the truth. Brands that treat customers well like old friends, may have loyalty and return…wallets are opening more easily to tip over on temptation. Even the marketing expenses are more valuable and relevant, as they are in fact “relation expenses” on long term relations. Imagine if you may be able to offer training sessions for all your customers…on your products and the way they MUST be used in real life for them: could we draw you back your toy?

5) the pleasure is contagious: already learned, already buzzed:

Lots of social toys have bloomed like angst…to be localized. Foursquare, Plyce, Tellmewhere, Gowalla and other Facebook places are nothing but accurate tools of modern social shopping: discovering places, check in, share view and comments (and then read others’ comments) and get some promotions on retail places (McDo, Starbucks…do this now). The chain has been designed to hold: as you progress in your expectations, you’re dying to say it, you buzz anywhere you can to be the influencer to come, the “friend everyone dreams of” for the best tip. Blooms of social platforms further, you can draw lots of audiences and become a special agent for brands (tip: for companies who missed the train, do something for us…they are supposed to be your best salesmen…). As you pay money to spread your messages and communication strategy, buzz is not really free…Being trusted by bulk means being trusty and really who you say you are: service and customer oriented. And fully personify the whole process to get the best of it.

6) raising the level of awareness: shopper’s experience educates the crowd

Building the flying wheel to breakthrough situation is now an ongoing process, that stands as a funny way to enroll people. Used to better consumption, educated so far to profiled promotions that save time and money, and targeted offers you can share, you are a better “student”, a better customer…And you want to share with others this status for you. You start to call your best friends, neighbours, parents to be a close influencer. You make them play, participate to mailing lists, subscribe them to private sales, invit them to shop with you. A kind of silent job, brands shall not ignore to care with their best outside talents. The more you attract, the more you like the game you’re in. Doing so, you learn how to be a personal consultant for best tips, good affairs and relevant sales. Your whole experience grows inside you as it spreads outside, just around you. I guess this shows you different and visible for others to come.

Now you’re ready to make your own courses, training session and buying lessons. While you’ve been targeted, focused and marketed as your own, you are able to give it back for crowd. Not that you’re ready to open a shop, because you’re best as a shopper than as a seller. Sure, you’ve been educated, you passed your exam of “advised customer”. Now you can open your wallet with serenity and take pleasure with it. And spread the word everywhere.

 

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Who knows who came first? brands or customers? What we can say is that none of them can exist and sustain without the other. But brands that want to keep their customers “safe” for a long time, one day started to think: well, what about if I decided to care now more closer, about my customers…;-) ? Yeah, no big deal, in fact. But why?

If we look at several argues that lead a company to do so, we have:

– economics needs: customers are now more than stakeholders but close to “shareholders” – we can say that even having any stocks of the company, they draw the line for the brand by their buyings-; they decide to stop or go with fidelity, and have a strong responsability on brand doom. If the customer changes by consuming a brand (in his habits, social behavior…), the brand can be changed too by customers advises: glory or death?

– social effects: brand needs to play a social role, in the several uses it can provide (new we hope…). Making happiness with a new product needs high skill, but make it real and exploit it in a bulk place is another goal. If the customer reaches such nirvana, he can make it viral to others, changing the face of society

– satisfy a need, that was not until this moment: achievement, success, purposed to targets, and accepted by customers. Brand has skills it can exploit, knows how to do it, knows how to promote it, making a real economic exchange: money against user benefit.

– customers that come from others: virality, buzz, leads brand to sell its products, targeting early adopters: customers to follow-up, by their fidelity will be connected to their real interest for the brand…caught, but not for the whole life…

We learned now that, by individual behaviors that grows far, “acting consumer”, wishes to be THE customer and not A customer among several ones. Rumours, buzz, advises, forums…we see now new shapes for relation between customers and brands, that is growing up each day more.  Beyond classical relation between “brand/agency/targets”. Emergency and likeness to express ourselves create other links, that brands can’t see, out of traditional medias : social sharing, communities, collaboration, equal point-of-view and advices are lots of disguised powers, that without any violence, can burst and shoot down brands, without they see it come.

Customer relationship is born. Because some brands want to keep their customers alive and active (weird isn’t it ;-). Quick growth for call centers, in several countries shows us the attention that has been created to exchanges and advises. Relation is not one way anymore, let the new codes come in, and damn to who can’t see them. Social web changes the value chain about knowledge, experts, official speakers and carry out other speech spaces, and lead to failure traditional behaviors: when you want now an information in the quickest way, who can you trust…web. And who writes on the web? Anyone. And before having a question, there’s now already an answer…Magic isn’t it?

According to IBM global business study about consumers, quest for the best price still works…and a good reason to be advised, guided by other buyers. And by the way, to be fed up with a brand, change and provide infidelity. The central fact for concil, prescription and advice is real: now, everybody knows all about everything, in the same time…What was a strategic advantage, few years ago: “information before everyone”; that was. How can brands can manage with the new situation?
Underlying, comes the sustainable HR concepts…Brands that take care of their customers can change them into “powersellers”: a happy and satisfied consumer is so a salesman who sleeps but can wake up as a brand’s soldier. Convincing neighborhood, circle of friends and family. That is to say as doubtless a high potential leverage of conquest for market share and new customers.
Let’s figure out the two faces of customer relationship: a satisfied customer can talk to average 3 or 4 close leads ; an unsatisfied can do it with more than 10, if he’s really upset…And you would still ignore that?

Let me introduce you to Kano’s model graph, illustrated with 3 concepts: unavoidable attempts of customers, normal ones and unsaid. Each of them have a trigger level.

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First of all, the basic ones (unavoidable) must be satisfied, supplied to a customer because they are obvious…They are not a real leverage for satisfaction but if you don’t get them…be careful about reactions.
The second ones (performance needs) are explained and requested by the customers, clearly. And satisfaction is directly linked to level of what is supplied: exact proportion. It’s a priority field of development in the consumer satisfaction, for sure.
Finally, last but not least, we go in a psychic face value, because it’s time for surprises! Consumers love to be surprised…and even for a hidden need, the revelation can provide such added satisfaction, that it can improve the brand attraction.

Customers, powersellers when they are satisfied….a real strategic goal if we consider the cost for new consumers. A real aim for fidelity and assets value: not financial ones, but customers, those who write the story of the brand. A strategic key to new markets, with new kind of attention to power of filled and satisfied relations. Are we going to still buy only products or services…?
No more now, we want to buy relation…

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