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Brandwave-logo-6.png |Customer Relationships | jan '17
20.12.2016

How often have you been to a reputable store or service company, hoping you will get the right product with the pampering service you feel entitled to as a ‘regular’ - or shall I say ‘true loyal’ customer? Instead, you are quickly disillusioned by the lack of proper attention, poor display of product knowledge, and bare minimum service.

 

Yet as you proceed to check-out, you will proudly present the store loyalty card to earn points. Points that you will likely forget about, or lose track calculating and translating them into an actual return of value on your loyalty.

 

This is probably the only positive note you will take from your visit, having spent a substantial amount of money in a short amount of time. So, you leave without feeling as though you have been recognized as a true loyal customer.

The question that always arises when facing situations like this is:

 

“Why do these companies invest so much in building loyalty program systems and fighting for share of voice, and so little on building a genuine, simple yet efficient service experiences that delight customers?”  After all, it is the little things that count, right?  “Why these companies spend so much energy & money on building loyalty program systems and spend large advertising & promotional budgets to fight for share of voice and so little on building a true, simple yet efficient experience that delights customers & makes them spend more money, repeat their visits and refer friends & peers?”

 

Why don’t they invest their resources in better recruitment, competitive salaries, better work environments, incentives and training to engage their staff? Why don’t they try to understand and recognize their customers’ needs, aspirations and expectations, and deliver on those consistently?

 

Treating the staff and the customers equally poor seems like a bad retention strategy, which these companies believe can be compensated by offering discounts or rewarding customers with a Chinese toaster for spending the equivalent of the latest iPhone!

 

Covering up poor customer experience with ‘points’ won’t retain customers. Good service will.

 

Companies might think that they have customers trapped in their loyalty program and this will eliminate the need to invest in improving or innovating the aspects of the service experience that matter most to customers.

This business myopia presupposes that the company is in a monopolistic situation or has a unique offering that brings in clients, regardless of service quality.

 

Very few companies are so privileged, but if one compares their loyalty schemes, most of them are almost identical and offer no true competitive advantage!

 

So, what does collecting points achieve when all the important milestones of the experience are less than satisfactory? Not much, beyond pushing customers to establish an opportunistic relationship with these companies based on deals and bargain hunting.

 

Services can drive loyalty up. Or down. People will come because they like your product, but leave because they detest your service.

 

True loyalty cannot be bought. It must be earned!

 

Customers do not actually consider their purchase of a product or service as ‘loyalty’ to a brand – they are loyal to their own needs – selecting what works in their best interest. Yet, strangely enough, companies still invest billions to ‘buy’ their customers’ loyalty.

Most of today’s programs barely go beyond a transactional relationship, which is based on a superficial understanding of customers. Designing generic or ‘off-the-shelf’ schemes that do not excite customers, and sending out mass emails or SMS offers (that often end up in junk mail) are insufficient.

 

Good service is a powerful way to identify, attract, retain and grow true brand advocates. A better customer experience, including simplified interactions and a feeling that the brand actually cares, would lead to true loyalty that generates consistent revenue growth and costs less to establish.

 

Never assume. Observe and talk to customers in order to understand them.

 

Use service design and customer management tools in conjunction with the data you collected to make their lives easier, to give them personalized treatment and to provide them an experience that reinforces the relationship they have with you. Interacting in such a mindset with a customer is the best way to build a lasting and lucrative relationship.

 

The most commonly practiced customer engagement bait are the discounts or earned points flashed in front of them.  However, the majority of customers say that what they really want is special treatment and well-tailored offers. They want to feel like they matter to your company.

 

Amazingly, the majority of companies accumulate but do not use customer and loyalty program data to develop a proper customer engagement strategy.  This strategy should outline why, when, how the company is to connect with its customers to provide better experiences.  Without such a strategy, it would be exceedingly difficult to build stronger relationships with their customers that leverage their lifetime value.

 

Think ‘customer first’ by mapping a solid and differentiated customer experience strategy, and enjoy the kind of loyalty that generates greater share of wallet, lower costs to serve and the opportunity for customers to share their stories of your brand with families and peers.

Joe Ayoub - Brandcell CEO

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19.01.2017

Relationships make the world go round—from that first flicker of attraction in high school or college to walking down the aisle on your wedding day. From landing your first customer to striking the business deal that takes your startup to the next level.
 

Relationships are key to every aspect of our lives.
 

So why is it that so many business owners rest on their laurels when it comes to customer relationships?
 

How can we future-proof ourselves against developments in the world of customer relationships? Well, the first step is to understand them.

New platforms, new opportunities

Advances in technology have blown customer interaction wide open. While such interactions were once limited to face-to-face in-store interactions, telephone conversations via customer service channels, or email marketing communications, modern customer relationships are played out across a variety of different fields. These include:

Social media

Social media is a vital tool in your customer relationship arsenal. Over 80% of adults in the United States are engaged via social media.

Adopting a diverse approach by utilizing the benefits of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and others pays dividends for businesses.

Mobile devices

Mobile devices are similarly important. The percentage of online interaction handled via mobile devices is increasing year-on-year. Mobile marketing revenues now exceed $20 billion.

Optimizing your online presence for mobile browsing, deploying applications to support the needs of customers, and integrating mobile into your consumer nurturing strategies are effective ways to prepare for the future of customer relationships.

Feedback loops

Developing feedback loops are also important. High-quality communication transforms your client base from a steady source of income to a rich resource of information which you can use to develop the services you offer.

Build feedback opportunities into the structure of your customer interactions – either via CTAs deployed amongst your content marketing pieces, or by reaching out directly after a purchase – and use the information gathered to hone the service you provide.

CRM software

It’s not so easy to go it alone with so much data to process across a variety of different fields and metrics. This is why a good quality piece of customer relationship management – or CRM – software can help to lighten the load.

Track customer interactions, iron out grievances, and optimize your firm for success in the market; a good CRM platform is worth its weight in proverbial gold.

The all-important efficiency factor

A business cannot survive without its customers, but nurturing relationships with those customers must be cost-effective. This is the endless balancing act; the high-wire performance that we must undergo each and every day.

It all comes down to value. Automating all of your processes, blasting out a ton of identical marketing emails to clients, and stripping back your customer service and nurturing departments is surely the cheapest way to develop customer relationships, but is it effective?

Of course not. No one wants to be treated like that, and this approach will simply turn customers off.

Your customers are human beings; they respond well to a personal service and to high levels of care. It is up to your department to place a value on that level of care, and work to achieve it in a way that is not only cost-light, but also efficient and effective.

Source Digital list mag

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OUR NEWS
Brandcell at the Gulf CX Awards
Brandcell participated to the Gulf CX awards in Dubai on January 18th as part of the Jury, recognizing many outstanding customer experiences and digital innovations in the financial, retail, telecom and health sectors in the region.
23.01.2017
Brand intimacy is a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand among six markers that identify the character and nature of ultimate brand relationships: Fulfillement, Identity, Enhancement, Ritual, Nostalgia and Indulgence.

1- Apple

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2- Disney

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3- Amazon

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4- Harley Davidson

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5- Netflix

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6- Nintendo

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7- Samsung

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8- Whole foods

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9- BMW

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10-Toyota


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Source mblm
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FEATURED CASE STUDY: Zaatar w Zeit
OVERVIEW
Zaatar W Zeit needed to understand the actors & factors that shape the dine-in experience in view of uncovering opportunities for improvement or innovation.
HOW DID WE HELP?
Brandcell & Livework Team uncovered key insights through an empathic research among key customers profiles and a thorough observation in the restaurants locations.
Then a two-day hothouse was organized with different members of ZWZ managerial and operations team to design the new customer journey.
FEATURED BOOK
Be Our Guest
by The Disney Institute


Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Disney Institute is revealing even more of the business behind the magic of quality service.


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1- Simplify the service by making it more human

2- Create unexpected moments

3- Provide customized services
 
4- Innovate through emotional bonding

5- Be honest about your flaws

6- Build rituals

7-  Use data to deepen relationships

8- Keep a sharp focus on the customer experience

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