Customer retention and attraction is what you plan on doing once you acquire a customer. However there are four different ways your customer has your attention.
Even though it was originally written in 2006, the rules still apply today in 2020.
1. Financial Bonds – like a frequent flier program, a frequent user program, like a coffee card, one of my local coffee bars used to offer buy 10 coffees and get the 11th on free. SuperCuts does this, buy 10 hair cuts and get your 10th one free. When you shop using Air Horizon’s VISA you get miles..they are many other cards like this.
2. Social Bonds – These are long term relationships you have developed through social connections or customers who may be faceless to you. Your Services and products are customized specifically for your customers. Like Sedona Pies, when you order you can order your favorites or suggest something that you would like to have – whether it has nuts or fruit or chocolate or other options. You can even order a Gluten free pie, if you wish. Is it for a Birthday, a celebration or just because you want to treat yourself?
Other professionals or service providers like hairdressers, personal trainers, health care professionals, counselors, florist, coaches, speakers, accountants and the like will tend to have a longer term relationship with their customers. What social bonding activities might these people do to help their customers stay engaged with them?
3. Customization Bonds – There are two ways “mass customization” and “customer intimacy” A mass customization would be your library card, or software services, a CRM services that you can stay in touch with your audience. Customer intimacy is like knowing their birthday and you send them a Birthday Card or Video Birthday greeting. Maybe to sent them a article or magazine that is specific to what their industry is. Ah, another way is to chat with them on Skype. I do this a bit.
4. Structural Bonds – Often it’s designed to be a delivery system for the client, ie FedEx, UPS, Send Out cards. An autoresponder like MailChimp – using this format for your newsletters and upcoming events. How about software that will help your clients print mailing labels, or track their customers.
Service Recovery – this the complaint department. How do you recover from a service or product failure? Many customers do get dis-satisfied with their products or services. They can Tweet it out, or post their complaint, they don’t like what has happened then they can complain to other people about it. The Better Business Bureau help to arbitrate situations. This is a listing service, that lists all the complaints. consumer complaints I cannot vouch for these organizations as I have never used them.
Part 2 will be about the types of people you can plan for in advance.. by setting up your policies and procedures in advance to recover your customer after they have complained.