THE BLOG

3 Ways to Re-ignite the Bond with Current Customers

06/10/2015 01:33 pm ET | Updated Jun 08, 2016

Most companies take existing customers for granted. They make 3 deadly assumptions; customers understand everything about your products, you know everything about your customers and, customers feel you are so special that they will be yours forever.

So, here are the 3 things never to think about your existing customers:

"Our customers understand our products." (They probably don't.)

"We know everything we need to know about our customers."(You probably don't)

"They love us, they'll never leave." (Not unless you nailed points A & B!)

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Findings from 15,000+ hours of VoC research conducted by our firm reveal that consumers feel it is not their responsibility to tell marketers what they need. They feel strongly that it is marketer's responsibility to ask, listen and respond with information, experiences and offers which will earn their loyalty. Furthermore, they expect that this high-quality customer engagement must be maintained throughout the relationship. [Tweet this.]

Following are three ways to re-ignite the bond with current customers;

1. Intuit says, "Become a Go-To Customer Resource"

Intuit knows that understanding its audience is crucial for success. That is why they created two separate blogs for its two types of customers; BtoB and BtoC.

Its BtoC blog, Mint.com, is a resource for managing personal finances and general tips and even shopping info. Additionally at the beginning of the year, Intuit teamed up with Turbo Tax for a consumer education campaign.

In its BtoB blog they write about topics such as, "Become a Go-To Customer Resource to Increase Sales." The company also has the ProAdvisor program, that helps professionals get the education they need to help their own clients.

2. Adidas Reconnects With U.S. Consumers

Adidas President Mark King noted he "has taken a no-holds-barred approach to reconnect with American consumers. "The biggest thing that's changed is the mindset... we have to be more in tune with the U.S. consumer. There is a shared belief that we have to do things differently."

Adidas incorporated lifestyle campaigns in their U.S. consumer win back campaign with celebrities like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, in the "Yeezy" sneaker ads which sold out via a special app even before its official launch.

3. United Healthcare Identifies with Consumer's Pain Points

United Healthcare recently launched its first national ad campaign, which pokes fun at the complicated U.S. health-care system. Called "Way In," the campaign comically helps consumers navigate the complicated healthcare system with the goal of recognition, building trust and earning recommendations.

United took the time to understand consumer's frustrations. "Consumers need to be more engaged in health care...We know consumers are frustrated. If we can demonstrate that...we can connect with them" stated Andrew Mackenzie, chief marketing officer at United Healthcare.

The campaign, which launched in May includes TV, radio, digital and social ads.

3 TakeAways

  1. Never assume that customers or prospects understand the benefits and features of your products. Education is the key to consumption--use your marketing to educate not just promote!

  • If you have not done deep research with customers and lost accounts within the past 9 months, you are missing critical insights regarding their rapidly changing needs and expectations.
  • Never assume that your customers are satisfied. Go the extra mile to provide actionable measures that prove you're constantly looking to improve customer experience. Develop multiple points for customer feedback.
  • In summary, when it comes to your existing customers, assumption and complacency are dangerous things. Be sure that you and your customers understand each other and know each other. Always be searching for ways to meet consumer's changing needs and evolving life stage requirements.

    Ernan Roman
    President, Ernan Roman Direct Marketing Corp., (ERDM)

    Inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame based on results companies achieve with three Customer Experience methodologies he created: Voice of Customer Relationship Research, Integrated Direct Marketing and Opt-in Marketing.

    ERDM specializes in conducting Voice of Customer research to identify Customer Experience strategies that generate significant increases in response and revenue for clients including IBM, MassMutual, QVC, NBC, Microsoft and Norton AntiVirus.

    Named by the Online Marketing Institute as one of the "2014 Top 40 Digital Luminaries" and by Crain's B to B Magazine as one of the "100 most influential people in Business Marketing".
    Ernan's latest book is titled, "Voice of the Customer Marketing". He also writes the widely read and Huffington Post published blog, "Ernan's Insights on Marketing Best Practices".