Everyone wants to categorize and define the increasingly fast evolution of how businesses sell and their customers buy. Getting ahead of the trend is everyone’s goal, but we know intuitively that some will prosper and others will be in their shadow. The prosperous will turn their customers into fans.
So many acronyms
A recent post talked about the expanding use cases for marketing and CRM amid all of this change. It also covered the blurring of the line between the two disciplines and the problems this creates in the enterprise divided up by department and function. Companies are struggling to adjust to a new model.
This new model has been given many names depending on where published and what’s being sold. Some call it customer engagement management (CEM), others call it real-time interaction management (RTIM), digital experience management (DEM), or our favorite, customer loyalty management (CLM). Whatever it’s called, it boils down to turning customers into fans.
Turning customers into fans
Turning customers into fans is a powerful phrase around which we can align. It gets to the heart of what makes great companies stand taller than the companies that simply create customers and call it a win. Fandom is a momentum that moves an enterprise forward through multiple products and even through customer service or technical challenges. Great fans come to the stadium win or lose because they want to believe in their team. Fans actively cheer on their favorite.
Success has a formula
Turning customers into fans is much more than a phrase, though. There are specific capabilities that need to be part of the mix if turning customers into fans is your goal.
- Social media – Social media has a critical role in capturing, engaging, augmenting and monetizing great customer experience.
- Loyalty – There is no better way to deepen the relationship and turn a customer into fan than a well-executed loyalty program.
- Exclusive Content – Fans expect something special and to have access to especially relevant content that makes being a fan different than being just a customer.
- Gamification – Being a fan needs to be engaging and fun. Micro-incentives offered as part of continuous interaction shape the experience and reward the behaviors that benefit both fan and “team.”
Each of these four components is a necessary part of creating fans for your brand. Having a system in place to deliver the components successfully requires analytics that constantly measure the success of social connection, loyalty, exclusive content and gamification. Analytics are critical to know what’s working and develop the course corrections that have to happen to continually improve upon a system that creates and keeps fans.
Turning customers into fans is in reach for those willing to make the investment necessary to get started right away. Our modern times are unforgiving of those who don’t take advantage of the opportunity.
This article was first published on the Loyalty Lab Blog.