This piece is by Elena Patra, mistress of all things social and product at Extole. Elena has been happily married – for a while.
Congratulations: you’ve taken the plunge and made a commitment. The challenge is no longer whether you’ll get the next date, but rather, how will you keep those dates interesting?
Businesses, too, face this challenge when they seek to retain their customers in long-term committed relationships. Getting the initial attention by being super groomed (“the flirting”) or alluring them with an enticing promotion, is one thing….but how do you keep them coming back?
As a brand there are several ways you can keep your customers interested in your products and services. Here are the Top 3:
1) Don’t broadcast: relate!
Your customers, just like your partner will change, and you’ll need all the insight you can get to capture and best respond to that change. There are a plethora of ways brands can tap into customer insight and Extole uses the best ones for our clients. For example, we work with clients to carefully design customer surveys that not only capture the right information but also entice users to complete them through appropriate incentives; we help brands identify and profile their influential users (a.k.a. brand advocates); and we provide detailed customer analytics across channels for all the promotions a brand runs. Just to name a few.
2) Change it up.
Even champagne and roses can get boring if that’s all you’re getting from your partner. You need to mix things up to keep things exciting. Extole provides a suite of engagement applications ranging from referral programs, surveys, quizzes and sweepstakes to photo & video contests and group deals. Our experienced Customer Success team helps to both define and fine-tune these programs so that they fit your needs and goals.
Case in point: Direct2Drive, a provider of online PC and Mac games, needed to amp up the “fun” for its customers. We worked with them to craft a group deal application where users registered for the deal by providing their email address where they would then receive a coupon code once the deal was unlocked by a critical mass of their friends. The goal was to unlock the deal within a week but D2D’s gamer audience loved the challenge and proceeded to unlocked it within only a few hours after the launch.
3) Be sure to provide ongoing care and feeding.
Once you’ve reached a peak point with your customers, perhaps via an app that went viral or a group deal that exceeded your expectations, you need to avoid the temptation to rest on your laurels. The most successful relationships require intentional work and commitment. At Extole we have a dedicated team of experienced account managers that closely follow the course of your campaigns and advise you on how to optimize them in order to achieve and exceed your marketing and business goals. Because we have cultivated experience across campaigns and industries, we can provide options on how to advance and deepen your own customer relationships, one step at a time.