“Every brand is built on the feelings and experiences it delivers to customers in the blink of an eye”
– Bernadette Jiwa, Author, Make Your Idea Matter
The festive season is normally one where you tend to indulge. Indulgence towards yourself and others. A surprise gift could be one such indulgence.
You visit a store. You go through multiple items on display at the store. You factor in colour, size, design. You keep your budget in mind.
This takes time – depending on your abilities and good luck – anywhere between a few minutes to hours, at times.
All this while you have your recipient in mind. Will he like your gift ? Will he be happy that you thought about him ? Will it help strengthen the bond that exists ?
All these thoughts flash through your mind in seconds.
You like a particular product, it’s design, colour. You make a decision.
After you have gone through the short listing and decision making, the store assistant walks up and asks if he could help in any way. Wonder where he was all this while you were pondering over the possibilities and trying to arrive at a decision !
Eh…you have this doubt…silly, but then you ask – ‘This person I want to gift to stays in another town. If he doesn’t like it, can he exchange it with another product at the store near him ?’
You take this as a given, expecting to get a confirmation for the same from the assistant.
‘Sorry Sir, but the item needs to be exchanged from the store it was bought at.’
Oh No !! There goes everything. What if your recipient actually doesn’t like it?
In a few seconds, you have changed your decision.
All because you feel that a low probability challenge may create a bad experience for the person whom you want to gift to, as well as to yourself.
For any brand, these are make or break moments. How can brands avoid such moments ? How can brands endear themselves to customers ? Can brands create better customer experiences ?
Some ways in which brands can create better engagement and stickiness with customers could be –
- Spending time – this could be in person at the store, online through social media, offsite activations or in some other ways. Work towards simplifying customer experiences. No customer wants complexity or ambiguity. In short, listen more.
- Leverage Data– while most retailers generate reams of data, not many leverage the same. Use the same to try and understand ‘who’ the customer is and why he comes to you and maybe not shop at another store.
- Empower and develop engaged employees– singularly this can be the most important and easy way to help build customer engagement. Even the best of technologies can fail if the employees are not engaged and empowered to take decisions in support of customer satisfaction.
Experiences and long term associations can be made or broken in a moment.
Learn to focus on the moments that the customer is in ‘touch’ with you.
It will be great to understand your views on Engaging Better with Customers from a long term perspective.
Feel free to write to me at email@example.com and I will be happy to engage with you on the same.
You can also connect with me on Twitter @sanjeevleader and on LinkedIn at https://in.linkedin.com/in/sanjeevsrivastava