The business world has always understood that hiring friendly employees is an effective way to deliver great service. While this remains true, I don’t believe it will make your customers loyal, largely because it’s an easy mantra to replicate and your customers expect more.
The three ingredients to increasing customer loyalty in today’s technology driven business landscape are: make your customers smarter, make them more efficient and make them successful.
If you have a look around you, the companies who are leading their industries are ones who are making their customers smarter, efficient and successful. These three companies have the aforementioned ingredients in the DNA of their brand.
You may have heard of Zendesk before. I have a massive “corporate crush” on this brand, company and its people. They are a living case study of making their customers smarter by perfecting content marketing. If you’ve ever visited their website, you will notice their Resource page, which I call their “home of education.” They work tirelessly to provide education to their customers through webinars, white papers and infographics. Their customers and prospective customers can visit their website and can, for free of charge, consume education to help them become more astute business professionals.
Why do you think we admire elementary and high school teachers?
It’s because they are educators; business is no different. If you put yourself in a position to educate your customers they will have an emotional connection to you and your brand.
On another note, I really admire Zendesk because they are making business fun. I feel that their Buddha logo and risqué video on their homepage gives them a competitive advantage because it’s what I call memorable marketing.
ZenPayroll is a world class example of how to make your customers more efficient. I can only speak for myself, but after having examined the payroll processing industry, it seems clunky, boring and out dated. I have had the pleasure of connecting with one of ZenPayroll’s co-founders and team members on the PR side of their business. After seeing their product in action, I thought, “Wow! That’s very easy.”
What they have done has taken a process in business that most businesses struggle with and made it easier and fun. If you’re familiar with user experience you’ll notice that they have done an exceptional job at making it engaging. Here are a few tweets coming directly from their customers.
I was recently invited to keynote Tangerine banks executive strategy meeting in Toronto. In preparation, I turned the internet inside and out to understand their brand identity, motivations and customer base. Furthermore, I studied the individuals who were going to be in the room. All the C-suites were there and after researching their backgrounds and business philosophies I immediately connected with them. Simply put, they “get” it.
Tangerine bank is a perfect example of making your customers more successful. To fully understand their operation, I opened a chequing account with them to better familiarize myself with their customer experience. My first thought was, “There isn’t a need to go to a retail location anymore.” Keep in mind, I have banked with my institution, a competitor of theirs, for twenty years and don’t know any better. After reflecting on my past banking experience, the only time I visited the bank was to deposit cheques. With Tangerine’s Cheque-In™ feature, I can do that same action from my bathrobe on my couch.
For me, if a company is saving me time then I equate that to me being more successful. If I have more hours in the day to spend with my friends, family and clients rather than visiting a bank, then I consider that a success. I’m sure that in the eyes of Tangerine, if their customers are more successful, than so are they. It’s the ultimate win-win scenario.
Having employees who are friendly is still a critical part of customer loyalty, the emphasis on technology has however shifted our priorities as consumers. Personally, I will take a more efficient customer experience than a friendly one, but that may be because I’m technologically driven.
What are your thoughts? What other companies are making their customers more efficient, smarter and successful?