Customer Touchpoints That Create Emotional Connections
Taking a look at marketing campaigns for the coming year, you should expect some seasonal highs along with the lulls. The high points have more frequent interactions with customers, while the lulls seem like they’ve all disappeared. Which is why all those interactions during the seasonal rise in activity need to last through the lulls.
Every aspect of your business is a touchpoint, from the website to the checkout counter. A touchpoint is any message that reaches your customers, either physically, like direct mail and advertising, or virtually through the internet and smartphone. Regardless of the media, each interaction you have with your customers has to resonate with them, especially when they are considering their purchases.
Struggling with the Lulls
When customers are away from the store, small businesses often struggle with keeping in contact with them. An even greater hurdle is maintaining that emotional connection between you and your customer. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers. Tight competition in the marketplace adds to all of this and makes it more difficult and more important than ever to maintain contact and maintain your connection.
Loyalty Program: Touchpoint Marketing
Today, there are more ways to reach out to your loyal customers than ever before. Technology and social media have expanded traditional marketing’s reach to help you stay in touch with your customers beyond the sale. Millennials prefer text messages, while older consumers like emails. Either way, you need to have alternatives when reaching out to them.
If it isn’t already, touchpoint management should become an integral part of your marketing strategy. The following six touchpoints are especially important because they carry an emotional message that has twice the value of simply offering coupons. Best of all, these should be automated in your loyalty program, so you can spend more time with your customers when they come in the store.
1. Thank you!
Every transaction deserves a “Thank You!” note—especially if it was a return. You’ll always want to thank your customers, because it matters to them. Also, every few months, you can send a message to any random customer, thanking them with a gift for coming into the store. The best targets for these are people whose activity has dropped or fallen off.
It’s their wedding anniversary. Time to celebrate it! This lets them know that you care about their personal milestones in life. Other anniversaries you might include are the opening day of your store or their first purchase. It’s also a fun way to let them know that you plan on many more years to come. Longevity and loyalty go hand-in-hand.
3. We Miss You.
This is another great way to reach out and let them know you care. Customization is important here. It has to sound genuine and authentic. Any allusion to it being a computer generated note will snap the emotional connection.
Touchpoint marketing at its finest.
4. Points balance.
If you have a rewards program in place, then your customers will appreciate hearing about how close or far away they are from receiving a reward. Accumulating cash back rewards toward purchases was probably why they joined your loyalty program. It’s the most enticing thing to them and may give them some added motivation.
Every holiday has an emotional connection—some more than others. You probably connect with your customers most through the celebration of major holidays. These are positive messages that have a long shelf life. They stay evergreen and can be recycled from year-to-year.
6. VIP offers.
Customers want to feel appreciated and special. How will they know, if you don’t tell them? Special offers will do this. It’s the exclusivity, the “you’re more special than the others” type of message that builds an emotional connection.
Purpose and Intent
For customers, every interaction matters and they expect value and authenticity during each one. This may seem like a tall order, but you can achieve it through creativity and customization. Creativity is how and when you present the message. The best loyalty programs use mobile marketing to present special offers and rewards in eye-catching ways. When you customize your messaging, it will always sound authentic, not computer generated.
Capitalizing on touchpoints will give you the purpose and intent for reaching out to your customers. They will appreciate it a lot more than simply getting bombarded with useless messaging. You can either passively sit back and hope that you are still engaged with your customers or you can reach out and let them know that you care.