It’s said that life is made up of a collection of moments. The same can be said about your customer experience.
When viewed in isolation, these moments seem insignificant – an email here, a conversation there.
But your customer experience isn’t defined by a single interaction (though there are certainly memorable ones). It’s the cumulative impact of the trivial and routine encounters that ultimately shape your customer’s perspective of your brand.
Customer retention is a long-term game driven by consistency and value. Don’t miss out on the opportunities to grow your customer loyalty by letting these relationship-building moments pass you by.
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A little customer recognition goes a long way with strengthening brand affinity. Everyone wants to feel seen and heard. In the oft-impersonal B2B world, a first-name field merge might be the most acknowledgement a customer receives from a company. Showing you’re interested in what’s going on in your customer’s world (beyond knowing their name) is an easy yet overlooked way to grow customer trust while differentiating yourself from the crowd. You’d be surprised by how the simple act of acknowledging a customer’s anniversary or their organization’s recent funding round can make their day and leave a lasting impression.
To stand out, make sure you celebrate customer milestones that happen outside of your product. Celebrating your customer’s personal achievements and life events – such as birthdays, returns from parental leave, or a role promotion – show your genuine interest in their story and success, not only as a business partner, but also as a person. Make sure you send a quick congratulatory email or in-app message to acknowledge these commemorative moments that only come around a few times a year.
Maximize the love from your biggest promoters. Increase your chance of receiving a raving customer review by knowing when your customer is most primed to show their appreciation. After you receive a positive NPS®, CSAT, or CES score, send your customer an automated email and in-app message asking them to share their experience.
At ChurnZero, we send the first review request email two days after receiving a positive survey response. As a helpful reminder, we also display an in-app notification with a review request. If the customer still hasn’t taken action, we wait seven business days before sending a follow-up email and in-app message. After the customer publishes a review, consider sending them a gift card or other incentive as a token of your gratitude for their extra effort.
Expansion conversations should never feel arbitrary or suspect to your customer. If you sense your customer is apprehensive to talk growth, then they likely haven’t realized enough value to legitimately consider expanding your partnership (thus questioning your motives) and/or you picked the wrong moment for it.
To find and capitalize on those ideal growth moments, monitor your customers’ buying signals that occur both inside and outside of your product, such as:
- Product usage (look at login history, time in app, engagement with sticky or new features, and license utilization increases)
- Knowledge base searches and resource downloads (by topic and frequency)
- Website and third-party review site searches. (Are your customer’s shopping around?)
- Support history (look at support ticket volume, SLA issues, open bug duration, and case severity)
- Customer loyalty (look at customer tenure and customer satisfaction results)
You can take a softer, more organic approach to your expansion conversations using in-app messages and product walkthroughs – especially for free-trial conversions and product add-ons – which remove the pressure and aggression associated with the typical hard sell.
By inviting customers to participate as featured speakers at your webinars and events, you give them a platform to highlight their professional successes, get free publicity, and grow their industry authority.
In our professions, we always want to know where we stand among our peers and how those who share similar roles or organizational attributes drive results. Featuring customer-speakers feeds into this desire by providing your customers a glimpse into how their peers who, at minimum, share the common bond of being your customer and using your product, approach their work or think about the industry.
You can also get your content in front of a wider audience through your customer’s cross-promotion efforts as they’ll likely want to share on their company accounts and their own personal networks.
Hosting an industry or customer conference is an effective way to carve out a space for your brand as an industry thought leader, especially in developing markets where functional expertise and best practices haven’t been widely defined. Bringing together an industry to discuss their shared pains, passions, and insights is one of the most powerful and organic ways to grow customer loyalty. Attendees associate the new relationships they forge and the perspectives they gain with your brand and its value increases.
To stand out from other industry events, you need to give your attendees an experience that can’t be easily replicated. No one else has your same customer base; use this to your advantage. When building your speaker and session lineup, tap into your customers’ varied backgrounds and knowledge.
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Customer communities promote advocacy by giving members a platform to share ideas, lend expertise, and network with peers. Since members drive the discussions, it gives them a safe and comfortable space to speak up, ask questions, and have more candid conversations about your product. Facilitating this free flow of ideas and opinions builds trust between your customers and your brand while giving you an unobstructed view into your customers’ experience.
Self-service learning resources, such as an online knowledge base or training courses, allow customers to help themselves and resolve issues on their own without having to wait or rely on your team for answers. Empowering customers to become their own product expert isn’t just a self-serving act to relieve your support requests – though that is a welcomed benefit. You also feed your customers’ esteem and grow their competence, which ultimately increases their overall confidence and satisfaction using your product.
You should aim to overdeliver on educational resources, especially early on in your customer lifecycle and during onboarding when customers may be skeptical about operational changes and need reassurance and reinforcement the most.
Don’t Wait for the Perfect Moment
Brand value isn’t given; it’s earned. Create the brand moments that will drive customer devotion. To build a memorable customer experience, you must treat all moments the same, regardless of their size or significance. As cheesy as it sounds, every moment counts – even (and especially) those which on their surface seem mundane and inconsequential.