Black Friday. Ugh. The 1-Day-Only short-term approach is questionable for customers and ultimately bad for brands. Customers end up buying stuff they don’t need and resent the brand they’ve panic-bought from. No one enjoys losing their dignity in a shop-floor brawl fighting over the ‘bargains’. Brands can’t sustain the low prices, you’re one of many price matching and we’re sorry to say no one remembers the kind-hearted deal that you presented. It doesn’t foster a customer for life and quite frankly it doesn’t help you to build relationships.
This year, as we celebrate Thanksgiving and experience another Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), we believe brands could be celebrating these occasions differently, by providing their customers with what they really want, and thinking of the 363 other days of the year instead of just these few. This is something brands around the globe could be doing more of. We call it ‘customer engagement’ – and your customers will gobble it up (sorry we couldn’t resist).
Here’s a summary of how you can celebrate the holiday differently and take a longer-term approach to reap the rewards (and there isn’t a Cranberry in sight):
When you say ‘thanks’ and you mean it you make it personal. You don’t spam-blast offers or the same ‘thanks’ message. Customers are also getting quite adept at, and tired of, dodging irrelevant marketing clap-trap. It’s time to get personal and treat your customers as they truly deserve. You need to be able to understand who prefers mashed potatoes to sweet potatoes and tailor communications to match customer preferences. 89% of customers have a positive impression of a brand that communicate with customers in the channel of their preference.
Add value every time
Start a new tradition – add value for every customer at every interaction. Customers are very responsive to businesses that generate value for them. 85% of customers feel favourable about details of relevant offers and deals that are presented to them at exactly the right time, with 83% impressed by an ongoing flow of useful customer contact.
Understand the customer journey
24 million people will jump on planes, trains and automobiles to try and get home to families for the thanksgiving holiday. That’s a lot of journeys. One of the best ways you can add value for your customers is to truly understand each and every individual customer journey. The insight they give you by what they do every time they choose (or not) to interact with your brand is priceless. If you can understand this in real-time, you can turn it around and use it to improve the customer’s next experience with you, also in real-time.
Pay it back
Harness the insight and knowledge you have about your customers, from what they do and what they tell you, to be able to offer them more value back. This means harnessing insight in real-time across the whole customer’s journey with you, in every channel. For example, highlight details of products and services you know each customer will want based on previous interactions, as well as offers that will be of benefit.
Understand your customers’ willingness to share their personal information for you to offer an enhanced customer experience. If you do this, the thanks your customers will give you in return will be seen in several ways. For example, 1 in 5 will complete feedback questionnaires whilst 19% will provide demographic information including their age, gender and marital status. Which means you in turn can use that information to make their experience even more contextually relevant. Exchanging information should be used to deliver: An improved service; more personalised experiences; better targeting and relevancy; consistency of interactions across department; and save your customers’ time and enable correct contact first time round – so they have some more time back in their lives to prep the Turkey.
Customers aren’t just for Thanksgiving, they’re for life.
Thanksgiving is a philosophical basis for a relationship with your customers. Make Customer Thanksgiving Every Day, not just one day, it’s an ongoing conversation which transforms your whole relationship with a customer, for a lifetime.
From all of us at Thunderhead, Happy Thanksgiving to every brand who values their customers.