Sunday, August 2, 2015

Aim for the Heart

You'll earn an inimitable advantage over competitors if you link your brand with customers' hearts, says Michael Hinshaw, a customer experience specialist, in CMO.

Hinshaw cites research from The Disney Institute showing that companies that rouse good feelings have customers three times more likely to repurchase a company's products than the customers of other companies.

Customers develop feelings about your brand based on experiences with it. And try as you might to win them over with slogans, cheap prices, bribes or warranties, feelings are facts for customers, Hinshaw says.

So how do you forge heart-felt ties with your brand?
  • Learn the features of your brand that customers care about. Do they care about choice, reliability, durability, speed, comfort, convenience, neatness, or other features? Delivering unimportant features well won't improve how customers feel.
  • Track each customer's expectations of your performance on these features. Customers' expectations differ at different times, and for different transactions, Hinshaw says. To catch a customer's fancy, you need to meet her expectations in the moment. At first, you might have to show the customer that your products are fun and safe (you market party favors, for example); while at a later time, that you can deliver them overnight, in any style and color (just in time for a birthday).
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