While we often think of chivalry in a romantic sense, chivalry is something that good marketers apply to their business everyday. Courting our most loyal customers is an essential part of our business.
And while it seems so painfully obvious to bedazzle your existing clients with useful content, loyalty programs or even an unexpected surprise box of doughnuts, unfortunately many good companies quickly jump ship once their clients have cemented their partnership.
Gartner stated that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits anywhere between 25% and 125%. According to Bain and Company, it costs 6-7 times more to gain a new customer, than to retain an existing customer. So why are only 38% of marketing executives focused on repeat customers?
Here are some simple ways to develop a cult-like following.
Use Data-Driven Messaging
Companies often make the fatal mistake of sending existing clients marketing materials that appeal to only prospective customers. There is nothing more insulting than receiving an offer to “Join Now” or “Sign Up Today” when they’ve already doled out a large sum of money on your product.
It’s important to take all of your fragmented customer data sources and put them in one place. Our clients, the Indiana Pacers for example, can look at their data and say “Hey, this person likes us on Facebook, we have their email address, their lifetime value is approximately $375 dollars per year, they’ve purchased season tickets — and based on their brand affinity data we know they love Katy Perry. Let’s offer them 25% off tickets to the upcoming Katy Perry concert.” They can even take it a step further by running promotional ads on Facebook to this particular segment of people who they know are loyal season ticket buyers AND love Katy Perry and might also be interested in purchasing discounted tickets to her upcoming show.
Also, it’s important to use your customer data to segment customers with high, medium and low lifetime value. Based on these groups of people you can run marketing campaigns that might prevent customers in a low lifetime value bracket from switching companies or those in the high bracket to feel an increased sense of appreciation.
Create Programs That Sync Up With Their Values
Once you have a sense of who they are, it’s important to take their customer data and look at things like brand affinities to understand their values.
Take a look at Patagonia for example. Instead of offering their customers the opportunity to buy more clothes at a discounted price through a loyalty program, they instead created a program that would appeal to what their existing audience actually values – consuming less and giving back to the community. They created the Common Threads Initiative that allows existing customers to sell their worn Patagonia goods at a discounted price.
By understanding their customer data, they can see what matters most to their audiences and go far beyond generic rewards programs.
And lastly, go ahead and send those box of doughnuts just in case.