Excited and engaged customers bring in 23 percent more profits. However, with advancing technology and decreasing face-to-face encounters, companies are having to find new ways to get customers excited.
Excitement is an emotion that fosters engagement. Positive experiences lead to increasing connections. Sports fans, for example, are so engaged they frequently describe their beloved team as part of their personality. This is the ultimate brand engagement.
By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. And yet, only 58 percent of executives have a formal engagement program. Companies must adopt a customer engagement strategy or get left behind. Here are 10 innovative ways business leaders can excite their customers in the ultra-connected digital age.
1. Share behind-the-scenes content.
Taking customers behind the scenes humanizes companies. This can be as simple as sharing employee stories on social media, or it can be a complex, immersive experience.
Disney offers “Behind the Scenes” tours to guests to engage customers in the “magic” of Disney. These tours present an unseen side of the company, demonstrating how Disney is changing the world through agriculture research or by valuing minority causes. The tours reinforce the Disney brand while providing visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
2. Launch a user conference.
Harley-Davidson understands the value of bringing users together. They have long held “brandfests,” which offer a place for customers to meet and create memorable experiences that build loyalty. These experiences generate emotional connections with the brand and with other users, which leads to better brand attitudes. Brandfests have been shown to increase sales by 20 percent.
The events should be an escape from normal life. They should “jive” with customers’ lifestyles and present event goers with opportunities for personal growth.
3. Survey customers to better understand them.
Marketers must understand customers in order to excite them. Surveys can be useful if companies use proper analytics to interpret data and implement necessary changes. Get creative with surveys. Many customers will shy away from filling out a lengthy survey, but will be happy to answer a single question.
Put a quick poll on social media or after an order, ask a couple of questions when following up with customers, or casually poll customers during checkout at a retail location. Use this data to make better decisions and help employees to better understand the target audience.
4. Use personalization.
Eighty percent of people say that brands are not tailored to their needs. In a world where some brands like Netflix and Amazon are doubling down on personalization, smaller brands must also commit to this growing consumer trend.
Amazon’s Alexa “gets to know the customer.” The more “she” learns, the easier it is for consumers to buy products. Analysts predict that in the near future, 30 percent of all searches will be made with voice searches. This disruptive change means that excitement and engagement will matter even more in the future, since ordering online through voice assistants will be about instant brand recall.
5. Package products in unique ways.
According to a report conducted by the American Psychological Association, first impressions form in 39 milliseconds. Once an opinion is established, it tends to be held firmly, even when the person is presented with contradictory information. That’s why the world’s best brands focus on developing remarkable “unboxing” experiences.
Apple, for example, has a secret packaging room dedicated to creating an emotional experience when customers open the box. The experience feels so valuable that many of us save Apple boxes, though we toss out packaging for other products.
Business leaders interested in creating a remarkable unboxing experience can use specialty services to create beautifully printed packaging. Brands including HP, Shopify and Google use outside providers to create extraordinary customer experiences from the instant the customer receives their package.