Businesses naturally associate creativity with advertising. We expect our marketing department to come up with creative ideas for new campaigns. But what about creative customer experience?
Marketing campaigns win new customers, but as far as B2C is concerned, it's the experience that keeps customers engaged and loyal to their service provider. That is a widely accepted fact. It's also widely accepted that acquiring a new customer is much more costly than retaining an existing one.
Investing in creative customer experience, therefore, seems to be sound advice. But what does that actually mean?
Surprise Your Customers. In a Good Way.
Yes, B2C is a relationship, and as in any relationship you need to avoid routine to keep your customers engaged.
You can break the routine and surprise your customers in many ways. Here are just a few examples:
- Get personal with a little birthday present. It could be just a personalized text message; it could be a special discount coupon; or for highly valuable customers, you can even send them an actual gift.
- Change your messages. You may be sending your customer a monthly bill, or a quarterly usage report, or any other kind of periodic content. Don't keep using the same template, because customers will get bored and stop reading your messages. Use fresh ideas to make every communication look a little different – like when people talk to each other.
- Don't be afraid to dress up your stores once in a while. Yes, everyone wants consistency across the brand's points of sale, but you can get a little more dynamic with digital signage to present new content and even different looks once in a while.
Personalize the Customer Experience.
Everyone talks about personalized experiences, but very few businesses get it right. Sending a text message with someone's name in it does not make it personal. Customized coupons too don't make much of an impression nowadays because most customers just accept this is what your marketing systems would produce.
Deep personalization can be achieved with some added creativity:
- Use your social media like Instagram and Facebook accounts to post interesting content that has nothing to do with your line of business. Engage with customers who comment and respond to your posts and share some more content they would like.
- Occasionally, pick up the phone and call a bunch of customers to hear what they think of you. Don't do it like a templated survey – make conversation.
- Inject some CRM-based intelligence into your customer interaction and engagement platforms to send customers relevant messages. For instance, if you are a bank and your customer just applied for a car loan, send them a link to a report comparing tire performance. If you are a telco and your customer just added a young family member to their account, tell them about current online safety apps for children. As long as you don't try to sell them anything…
Just get creative!
All of the above are just examples. An article won't give you your next campaign idea, and it won't be able to provide you with your next creative experience idea.
What we can recommend to any service provider:
- Get some smart people to sit down and gather ideas on making your customer experience more surprising, personal, and engaging.
- Make sure your customer engagement platform, messaging system, and in-store communication system do not limit you in any way and are flexible and integrable enough to support your creativity.