Article | Customer Experience

Want to Build a Customer Fan Base? Treat Your Buyers Like Family.

Patrick McCullough
X-Strategies-for-Effectively-Engaging-Boomer-Buyers hero
X-Strategies-for-Effectively-Engaging-Boomer-Buyers hero

What’s the most significant difference between your product and your competitor’s product? To the average consumer, the answer is simple: the customer experience.

Undoubtedly, the customer experience has arisen as vitally important in the race for discretionary dollars. After all, everyone likes to pretend that the head makes purchase decisions. But we all know that the heart frequently overrides logic.

Consider brand loyalty, for instance. Brand loyalty doesn’t always make sense from the outside looking in. Why would a consumer choose to pay more for essentially the same item or service? Usually, the reason is that one brand has gone head and shoulders above the other. Consumers don’t just want a transaction — they want a seller-buyer relationship that makes them feel valued. This relationship is why people will pay a premium price to stay at a Hilton property or stand in line to get the next big Apple device. That’s why you need to spend time on your customer care program.

Rolling Out the Red Carpet, Customer Experience Style

According to Salesforce, roughly 9 in 10 people are more likely to buy again after a positive customer service interaction. In other words, taking two minutes to grab a greeting card, jot down a message, and address the envelope to a consumer could have a significant impact on your bottom line.

Besides this, let’s not forget how happy it could make the employee, too; employee and consumer fulfillment are certainly connected. Encouraging your employees to genuinely help consumers will also encourage them to feel more positive about their role. Their optimism and happiness are reflected in their future engagements, creating a joyful experience in turn. And from there, the cycle continues.

If you already have a full-fledged customer care program, that’s terrific. If you don’t, that’s OK, too. It doesn’t take a ton of time to refresh or launch a branded program that puts shoppers first and allows you to conduct some real-time customer experience outreach.

With a customer care program, you have the opportunity to capitalize on all the emotional touchpoints that you might otherwise miss during the sales journey. Like what, you ask? Perhaps a consumer calls your support line. During the conversation, she mentions that her cat isn’t feeling well. The comment might be unrelated to the discussion, but it’s essential to the buyer. If you had a customer care program in place, your support agent could leverage this touchpoint by sending a “get well soon” card to the cat and owner.

Never underestimate the power of surprise and delight to keep a consumer coming back — or to snag better customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction scores.

Revving Up Your Customer Care Program

Want to know a few insider secrets on how to develop a customer care program that means business and elicits smiles? Consider the following pointers:

Discover Hallmark’s Customer Care Tool

Thankfully, a partnership that helps you create meaningful touchpoints and form a positive view of your brand in a consumer’s mind doesn’t have to be built from the ground up. Why? Because you can now partner with Hallmark to help your consumer-facing employees quickly mail greeting cards whenever the timing feels right.

With Hallmark’s Customer Care tool, your representatives can choose from various cards in a digital environment. They have the option to include personal messaging for a customized touch, and they never have to lick an envelope. Deployment is also automated, helping you save time and get mail to consumers faster.

Train Employees to Proactively (and Creatively!) Listen and Interact

In addition to empowering workers to send greeting cards on demand, you might need to also teach them how to identify those “Hallmark” moments. Encourage them to use their listening skills to hear beyond the words and pay attention to everything from mood to context.

Employees can spring into action once they find an opening to use their Hallmark Customer Care tool. Don’t be shocked if your newly implemented tool kit gets quite a workout, though. Employees will usually spring into action when they’re given carte blanche to create loyal connections with consumers.

Consumers haven’t stopped giving their loyalty to the brands they love. Instead, they’re just looking for something more than a faceless transaction. Impress them with a different consumer experience than they ever imagined. They’ll be curious enough to come back for more.