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A Great CRM Is Critical For A Great Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Jul, 06, 2016 @ 09:07 AM

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Moving forward I believe successful companies will positively differentiate themselves versus the competition by providing an outstanding customer experience. Zappos started the trend online and Amazon was smart enough to acquire them and learn from them. Ritz Carlton continues to lead the way in the brick and mortar world.

The key to providing a great customer experience is by giving everyone in your company a 360-degree view of the customer - their wants, their needs, what they've bought from you in the past, what they've returned, what questions they've asked, what issues they've had.

In order to provide this holistic view of the customer, you need a customer relationship management (CRM) database that captures this information and lets your employees access it in real-time. 

The benefits are myriad:

  1. It's a great central repository for all of your customer data that all of your employees can access and update across all devices.
  2. All team members can see what actions have taken place with a particular customer in the past and know what actions need to take place in the future based on your sales process and customer relationship management process.
  3. All team members can see all of the interactions with the clients enabling them to provide more relevant help thereby making the customers' lives simpler and easier.
  4. Your CRM can be integrated with calendars and marketing automation software for appropriate follow-up after the sale or lead nurturing marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads.
  5. The CRM provides real-time metrics so you can see where prospects and customers are in the sales, post-sales follow-up, or problem/resolution cycle.
  6. You can scale your business in an organized way. In order to do so, everyone needs to be encouraged to keep the data clean and up to date.

Having worked with a number of companies over the course of my career, it's interesting to see the lack of emphasis put on the CRM, its adoption and use, and the cleanliness of the data, given that it is a keystone to providing an outstanding customer experience.

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Tags: outstanding customer experience, customer experience, CRM, customer relationship management

5 Reasons to Provide an Outstanding Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Sep, 10, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

Outstanding customer experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Temkin Group (#btemkin) just published the results of its research, the ROI of Customer Experience, 2014.

 

In it, they share the five benefits of providing an outstanding customer experience:

 

  1. Loyalty

  2. Repurchasing

  3. Willingness to try new products

  4. Forgiving mistakes

  5. Recommending your product or service to a friend or colleague (a.k.a., referrals)

Based on a study of companies in 19 industries, companies that provide an outstanding customer experience have a net promoter score (NPS) that's an average of 22 points higher than those companies that do not provide an outstanding customer experience.

 

In addition, by modeling the revenue of the companies with their NPS score, The Temkin Group projected that companies that continue to provide an outstanding customer experience will see significant greater revenue growth, than their competitors, in these three industries:

 

  • Hotels = 46%
     
  • Fast food = 44%
     
  • Retail = 43% 

 

Are you and your company committed to providing an outstanding customer experience?

 

Are you using net promoter score (NPS) to measure loyalty and increase revenue?

 

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Tags: outstanding customer experience, loyalty, net promoter score, referrals, NPS

Use VoC to Provide an Outstanding Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Apr, 25, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

voice of the customer improves customer experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are your policies standing in the way of delivering customer service?

 

Are your employees empowered and encouraged to provide a great customer experience?

 

Use voice of the customer (VoC) research to determine your customers' needs and wants as well as to learn how your are doing with regards to handling transactions, as well as overarching relationships.

 

Start by asking these questions:

  1. What is the mission of your business?

  2. How will a VoC program integrate with the mission of your business?
     
  3. Which customers do you want to measure?

  4. How are the customers interacting with the product or service?

  5. How can you and your employees provide a smooth and simple feedback experience?

  6. What metric(s) will you use to measure success?

  7. What data will enable you to make actionable decisions?

  8. How do you engage your stakeholders?

When you field VoC research, you will have detractors, passives and promoters.

 

Make sure to thank them all for taking the time to give you feedback.

 

 Six reasons most VoC programs fail:

 

  1. Program is perceived as "nice to have" rather than "must have." 

  2. Executives not bought in to the value of providing an outstanding customer experience or the ability of the VoC to identify the key drivers.

  3. The business is siloed, each silo is "doing their own thing" and not willing to share data, methodologies, or do what's in the best interest of the company as a whole.

  4. Inability or unwillingness to act on the data. Fear of having too much feedback to deal with.

  5. Improper staffing or training to follow back up with respondents, thank them for their feedback and get back to them with a resolution to their concerns or suggestions.

  6. Lack of believe in the value and the validity of the feedback.

Any company that does not value having a dialog with their customers to improve their product, service or customer experience can expect to be surpassed by those that do value their customers' feedback and take action on it.

 

The insights you garner by listening intensely to your customers will give you ideas of what you can do to improve relationships and drive revenue.

 

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Tags: outstanding customer experience, consumer insights, VoC, voice of the customer

6 Rules of Customer Experience (#cx)

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Feb, 12, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

improve customer experience to accelerate sales

 

Thanks to Bruce Temkin (#btemkin) for his insights in a recent edition of Customer Relationship Magazine.

 

Bruce's six rules of customer experience, along with my own thoughts, are as follows:

  1. Focus on journeys, not interactions. Understand the big picture of what your customer is trying to accomplish and help them accomplish it. If a USAA member calls to change their address, reps are trained to understand why and deal with bigger issues. If the call if from a soldier about to be deployed, the rep might inquire about power of attorney and life insurance, as well as the opportunity to put a hold on the member's car insurance to save the soldier some money. Do what's in the customer's best interest in the long run to earn their trust and their long-term business (#trustability).

  2. Treat employees as assets. Engaged employees are more than twice as likely to work late is soemthing needs to get done, help someone at work, even if they're not asked and do something for the company even if it's not expected of them. They are nearly three times as likely to make recommendations about improvement and more than six times as likely to recommend a friend or relative to apply for a job. I like using a Net Promoter Score survey with employees, just as we do with customers, to understand their level of engagment and satisfaction with the company.

  3. Build your brand from the inside out. Do your c-level executives know your vision, mission, values and strategic positioning? How about mid-level managers? If your management team is not in alignment and telling a consistent brand story, your employees will not be in alignment. Each department is working on what their manager deems to be most important rather than what's most important for the company. This lack of alignment is obvious to prospects and customers and results in confusion, a lack of trust and lost business.

  4. Make every ending count. Let customers vent. Thank them for sharing their concerns so you can address them. If a customer doesn't complain, you don't know of the problem that needs to be addressed. Also, people who complain, and whose complaints are resolved, are significantly more likely to remain loyal customers than customers who never complain. Leaving people with a positive ending is important because people's memories tend to be heavily influenced by the most severe, good and bad, parts of the experience -- in particular, the way it ends.

  5. Focus on "why" versus "what" and "how." Leaders need to elicit buy-in by starting communications with "why." Explain the reason something is important to the company and why we're asking you to do what you do. Employees are empowered when they know how their job contributes to the vision, mission, values and strategic positioning of the firm. It reminds me of the janitor at NASA who told President Kennedy, his job was to "help put a man on the moon." Do your employees know what their job is? Ask them.

  6. Only ask if you will act. Don't ask survey questions that don't have specific action items associated with the answers. Likewise, don't field a survey if you're not prepared to address client concerns. Fielding a survey and not acting on the results creates false expectations of customers which will ultimately erode your trust and credibility. If you are sincerely interested in what your customers have to say, end the survey with an open-ended question that gives the respondent an opportunity to share their thoughts on the subject of the survey, or any other topic about your brand, that you may have missed.

Providing good customer service is not hard; however, the companies that do it well are few and far between.

Commitment to provide good, let alone outstanding, customer service starts at the top. C-level executives need to make this priority one if they want customer experience to be a competitive differentiator.

You can start by treating your employees and colleagues as customers and providing them with an outstanding customer experience.

After all, your employees will only treat customers as well as they are treated.

Is improving the customer experience a priority at your company?

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Tags: outstanding customer experience, trust, customer experience, customer satisfaction, earn your customers trust, empower employees, vision, mission, values, strategic positioning

Talk to Your Customers to Create an Emotional Connection to the Brand

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Feb, 06, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

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People buy from people they know like and trust.

 

People make emotional connections to brands because of their experience with the people representing the brand and providing the brand experience. Your employees are your brand.

 

If you want your customers to have an emotional connection with your brand, then you need to make an emotional connection with your customer, not a segment of your database or a persona.

 

Segmentation and personas are great for developing marketing plans. Not so much for providing a satisfactory, or even better, an outstanding customer experience (#cx).

 

Talk to your customers, B2B and B2C, to understand their wants and needs as individuals. Be careful making assumptions or generalizing. Every customer is different.

 

Encourage and empower your employees to engage customers in a dialog as well. The more ways your brand can connect with a customer, the better.

 

The more you, and your employees talk to your customers, the more of an emotional connection you'll make.

 

Emotional connection correlates with satisfaction, repeat purchase, profitiability and willingness to recommend your product or service to others.

 

In order to have an authentic relationship with customers, you need a centralized system where you can keep all of the information you learn about your customers -- what they've bought, what they've liked, what they haven't liked, how they like to be communicated with, etc.

 

The more you know about your customers, the better off you'll be. You'll be able to make more timely and relevant communications and recommendations.

 

However, you need to remember what your customer has told you or they will very quickly get the sense you don't care about them as an individual.

 

I know I feel that way when I'm on a call with a company, get transferred to another person in the organization and have to repeat all of my information to them.

 

A more personal example is DirectTV. I was a customer, make that a raving fan, for 15 years.

 

DirecTV does a great job with customer service until you have a particular issue. If you present a problem with which they haven't dealt with frequently, they stumble.

 

Then when you leave because they've told you they cannot provide the high definition service you want, they still send you a series of "win back" mailers. That really exposes the holes in their customer satisfaction measurement and retention program. As does the V.P. of Customer Retention's failure to respond to a personal communication.

 

Ideally you will have a system that allows you to integrate social media interactions, marketing communications and customer relationship management into a single database.

 

This database is an important tool for you and your employees.

 

You want to empower and encourage your employees to have a dialog with customers as well.

 

Provide your employees with all of the information, at their fingertips, necessary to provide a personalized customer experience.

 

Provide support, share knowledge, train, recognize and measure the level of customer support you are providing your customers.

 

Empower your employees to provide outstanding customer experiences. Recognize them for doing so.

 

Outstanding customer experiences will also go a long way towards helping your brand connect emotionally with customers.

 

Providing customers with a "wow" customer service experience will result in them telling their family, friends and colleagues, as well as their social media contacts, about your product or service and the great customer experience provided.

 

Recognize employees who become your biggest brand ambassadors and provide outstanding customer experiences. These are your future managers and leaders.

 

Get beyond viewing your customers as a demographic segment or persona.

 

Focus on each one as a unique individual. You, and your business, will reap the benefits.

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Tags: emotional connection to the brand, outstanding customer experience, dialog, empower employees

Differentiate Your Brand: Provide an Outstanding Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Feb, 03, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

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We are now in the age of the customer.

Companies no longer compete on product features.

Customer experience (#cx) leaders like Starbucks, Apple, Zappos and Disney have set new standards.

Consumers have more power than ever.

Your best opportunity to have a sustainable competitive advantage is to focus on the quality of every customer interaction.

You don't have to provide an outstanding customer experience every time but you do need to provide a consistently positive customer experience.

Customer satisfaction and experience scores have strong positive correlations with purchase, repurchase, revenue, profitability, shareholder value and likelihood to recommend. They have a strong negative correlation with likelihood to switch to a competitor.

Show your customers you, and your employees, are listening to them by engaging in a dialog with them online, via telephone and in person.

People like to do business with those they know, like and trust.

Get to know your customers and encourage your employees to do the same.

By doing so, you'll learn:

  • What they like
  • What they don't like
  • What makes you "different and better" in their eyes
  • How they define a satisfactory level of customer service
  • How they define an outstanding customer experience
  • Who they consider to be your competitors
  • What your competitors do well, and not so well
  • How you can improve your products
  • How you can improve your services
  • What problem you may be able to solve for them in the future
The more you know about your customer, and the more they get to know you, your employees and your company, the stronger the customer's emotional connection to you and your brand.
If your customers have a strong emotional connection to your brand, they want to see you be successful and are willing to help you be successsful if you ask.
You'll also be better able to deliver what they customer wants, when they want it and how they want it.
You'll be able to innovate your products and services and offer logical product extensions, up-sells and cross-sells. Your best prospects for a new product or service are your current customers.
You'll know what lingering questions they have and what they consider to be information of value. This enables you to make your communications to them much more relevant. Greater relevance = greater effectiveness.
Being easy and enjoyable to do business with are two attributes of a successful customer experience. Simplicity is key for consumers today. Anything you can do to make your customers' lives easier will improve their experience.
The better the experience, the more likely the customer is to share their experience with family, friends and colleagues. Referral marketing in the age of the internet and social media is more powerful than ever.
Deliver a consistently excellent customer experience or be prepared to lose your customers to those companies that do.
While there are several companies, as referenced above, raising the customer experience bar, most companies are still focused on their own products and services and monthly, or quarterly, revenue ahead of the customer.
Are you a customer experience leader in your space?
What do you need to do to differentiate your brand by providing a consistently excellent, and occasionally outstanding, customer experience?
If you put customer experience ahead of product/service and revenue, you can build a recurring revenue stream with satisfied customers who do a lot of your marketing for you.
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Sources: Forrester, North American Technographics, Watermark Consulting

Tags: outstanding customer experience, trust, dialog, customer satisfaction, customer centric, people do business with those they know like and t

8 Steps to Cultivate Satisfied Customers for Life

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Jan, 24, 2014 @ 10:01 AM


Thanks to a HubSpot (#hubspotting)cultivate customers for life webinar on "Cultivating Happy Customers" for the following thought starter.

It's everyone's job to delight customers.

If that's not understood by everyone in your company, you can rest assured that your most important customer will have the opportunity to deal with the person that doesn't understand it (Murphy's Law).

Loyal customers are worth 10 times more than their initial purchase.

In the case of Chipotle, I'm now worth at least 3,000 times more than my initial purchase based on the number of times I've eaten there over the past seven years and the number of people I've introduced to the brand.

Forty-eight percent of customers who have had a bad experience will tell 10 or more people about it. If they're active on social media, think of how many people follow them on Twitter, Facebook, et.al. It'll be a lot more than 10 people.

Customer perception of your company is formed by every interaction with your company -- every person they speak with in person and on the phone, every advertisement they see or hear, every social media mention, everything.

You cannot provide awesome service if you don't know who your customers are, what they like, what they don't like, what they define as awesome service.

Most customers aren't loyal to a business, they're loyal to what a business stands for.

I'm loyal to Chipotle because they have food with integrity.

I'm loyal to Atlantic Avenue Tire because they're committed to keeping my vehicle running safely, at a fair price, for the life of the vehicle.

The three pillars of customer delight are: product, communication and education.

The 8 customer delight guidelines are:

  1. Delight employees to delight customers. Loyal employees = loyal customers. Employees will only treat customers as well as their manager treats them.
     
  2. Educate employees. Ensure everyone in your organization knows that the customer comes first and while the customer may not always be right, they are always the customer. Explain the value of having a "customers for life" philosophy. Recognize and reward employees that provide an outstanding customer experience.
     
  3. Empower employees. Do you trust your employees?  You should you hired them. Entrust them to engage customers in person, on the phone and via social media. The better the customer gets to know your employees the more likely they are to make an emotional connection to your brand. Your employees are your brand. Trust your employees to solve the customer's problem even if it costs a little more. Nordstrom has built a very successful, and profitable, brand with this philosophy.
     
  4. Listen to customers. Ensure you, and your employees, understand their needs and wants. Find out what you do well in their eyes and what you can do better. Thank them for their feedback. If they won't tell you something's not right, who will?
     
  5. Ask customers questions. Who, what, when, where and why? Ask follow-up questions. This will build a trusted relationship between you, your employees and your customers.
     
  6. Help customers. Educate them. Provide information of value. Anticipate their questions based on questions you've received from other customers. Expect nothing in return. You have to give to get.
     
  7. Follow-up with customers. I used to produce advertising for Wachovia Bank, before it was bought by First Union, when it was widely recognized for its outstanding customer service. Wachovia had the "sundown rule" whereby the banker was to call the customer by the end of the day with either an answer to their question or a status update on where they were in the process of answering the customer's question. This is one reason Wachovia scored so well in customer satisfaction surveys and why First Union bought them when the First Union brand was in the toilet.
     
  8. Take action. Measure and track everything. I highly recommend using Net Promoter Score to monitor customer satisfaction over time. It's a great tool to promote a dialog with customers. An eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) survey is a great way for employees to be educated about the importance of customer satisfaction.
What steps are you, and your company, taking to have satisfied customers for life?
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Tags: customers for life, loyal customers, outstanding customer experience, customer satisfaction, net promoter score, loyal employees

It Takes One Employee to Provide an Outstanding Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Jan, 22, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

one employee can provide an outstanding customer experience

 

 

 

 

 

Do you realize the importance of your customer-facing employees to your business?

Do your employees realize the positive impact they can make on a customer and on your brand?

I've shared in the past how Customer-Facing Employees are Your Brand.

I just had another experience where one employee, taking the time to do their job well, provided me with an outstanding customer experience.

Many years ago when I was introducing my future wife to my parents for the first time, we were having dinner at the Capital City Club in Raleigh.

I was having French Onion soup and choked on a whole bayleaf that was left in the soup.

Thankfully someone at the restaurant performed the Heimlich maneuver on me and helped me, literally, survive an already stressful evening.

Many of you know I eat at Chipotle (#chipotle) everyday for a variety of reasons.

Yesterday, while preparing my burrito bowl, I saw Devonte Knight, working on the front of the line, pick bay leaves out of my brown rice and my black beans.

It may not seem like much to you, or to someone who works at Chipotle and knows to get rid of bay leaves when they seem them, but it meant the world to me.

My burrito bowl tasted better that day -- halo effect.

I suggest to clients all the time to ask their customers how they define an outstanding customer experience because everyone will have a different definition.

I doubt anyone who works at Chipotle would say picking bay leaves out of food before it reaches a customer is "outstanding."

Well it is to someone who choked on one long before Steve Ells every thought about creating Chipotle.

Talk to your customers. Ask them what makes you different and better than your competitors.

Then ask them how they would define an outstanding customer experience or tell you about one they've had recently.

You'll be surprised by what you hear.

Also, if you are so inclined, please share this story with your customer-facing employees so they can see how the "little things" they do can be a big deal for a customer.

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Tags: outstanding customer experience, dialog, employee engagement

8 Traits of Customer-Centric Companies

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Jan, 21, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

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Do customers come first in your company?

Do you view all of your product offerings and communications from your customers' perspective?

Do you talk to you customers about what they like about your products and services, and more importantly, what they don't like?

Do you know why your customers buy from you rather than your competitor?

Do you and your customers agree on who your competitors are?

According to a recent research report from Ovum, 90% of organizations are at risk of becoming irrelevant to their customers unless they learn to adapt their practices much faster in ways that customers value.

The fundamental issue is a lack of visionary leadership, consumer insight and the ability to translate those insights into a fully engaged and connected enterprise that is committed to delivering an outstanding customer experience.

Ovum identifies eight key attributes as central to making a company customer-focused:

  1. Leadership. A customer-focused company starts at the top. If the c-level executives aren't customer-focused, then the customer-facing employees will not be.
     
  2. Workforce engagement. Loyal employees = loyal customers. If employees are not engaged, they are not going to provide good customer service, let alone an outstanding customer experience. Employees treat customers only as well as management treats them.
     
  3. Collaboration. Companies must tear down silos to be able to provide customers with outstanding customer service. If everyone doesn't have access to all data about all customers, they will not be able to provide great customer service. Companies who keep data in different silos make it impossible to have a 360-view of the customer.
     
  4. Sensing capabilities. You must engage with your customers to know what they're thinking. DO NOT assume you know what your customer is thinking. DO NOT rely on analytics to assume you know what your customer is thinking. Have a dialog with them. 
     
  5. Customer experience. Do you know what the customer experience is? Have you mapped it? Have you shared your map with customers to verify its accuracy?
     
  6. Innovation. Are you listening to the voice of the customer? While your customers may not know what they want, by listening intensely to your customers you can learn about their needs and desires. This will inform your innovation efforts.
     
  7. Process integration. Finance, production, operations, sales and marketing need to be focused on the customer experience and committed to providing a consistently outstanding experience.
     
  8. Enterprise architecture. Again the enterprise infrastructure needs to enable every member of the company, that may have contact with a customer, to have a 360-degree view of the customer.
How important is a particular customer to your business?
How much revenue have they generated?
Are they a new customer, a regular customer, a satisfied customer or a raving fan that brings you many more customers by sharing their outstanding customer experiences with friends, family and colleagues on social media?
How much does it cost to serve the customer?
What is the lifetime value of the customer?
You need to know all of these things to determine how important a particular customer is to your business.
Not all customers have the same value. Consequently, not all customers should receive the same treatment, benefits, offers or communications.
Are your monitoring customer satisfaction using Net Promoter Score, or some other methodology, to ensure you are constantly improving?
Since companies that provide an outstanding customer experience perform better than those that do not, we can expect investors to start looking at companies' ability to engage emotionally with, and engender the trust of, its customers.
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Tags: outstanding customer experience, improve customer experience to accelerate sales, connecting emotionally with customers, listen intensely

Use SoLoMo to Deliver an Outstanding Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Jan, 20, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

use solomo to provide outstanding customer experiences

 

 

 

 

 

 

A recent article caught my attention, Darden ads focusing more on digital, less on TV.

Having followed the development of social/local/mobile (#SoLoMo) I wondered if we are finally beginning to see retailers take advantage of this very powerful, and personal, marketing channel?

Location marketing offers the opportunity for marketers to engage with customers, and prospects, at the right place and the right time. This is invaluable for the marketer and the consumer.

However, it must be done in a way that adds value.

Using what we know from data about where people are, what they are doing, previous behavior patterns and preferences, the cell phone is the perfect medium through which to engage the customers -- especially when you consider more than 85% of U.S. consumers have a cell phone and don't leave home without it.

Generally, consumers see marketing messages (a.k.a., advertising) as intrusive when it's not relevant to them.

Knowing where a consumer is enables the marketer to deliver a much more relevant message.

Location marketing is the bridge between online and offline marketing. It connects an individual's online activity with the buying process since the mobile component tells the marketer if the individual actually went to the store. Additional data will need to be mined to learn whether or not a purchase was made.

Location marketing is a way to:

  1. Reward loyal customers
  2. Upsell
  3. Compete with larger, less nimble, competitors
  4. Make the right offer to the right person at the right time

Recently I've be able to take adventage of two promotions by checking in on Foursquare.

The first was $10 off a $75. or grearter, purchase at Whole Foods when I used my American Express card. Luckily this offer was good for two months since I don't typically spend that much in one visit.

Then last week, my wife asked me to go to Panera to get her a cup of coffee. When I checked in, I had an offer for $5 off if I bought a $15 gift card. Since my wife goes to Panera virtually everyday, it was a wonderful reward -- a 33% discount on a future purchase.

A lot of people are concerned about the intrusive potential of "big data."

Marketers must be careful as Target learned since sending a flyer full of baby products to a teenager still living at home.

However, it can also be used for good.

Foursquare knows I go two places everyday when I'm at home -- the gym and Chipotle.

I'm interested in taking care of myself and eating food that's good for me.

I would be ecstatic to receive a notification from Foursquare, when I check in at an airport (upon landing) where the nearest "healthy" food is.

If you have a healhy food offering at ATL, DFW, ORD or any other major airline hub, get on Foursquare.

Likewise, I would like to:

  • Receive electronic coupons from my grocer when I walk in the front door, not when I check out. 
  • Receive a suggested workout regimen when I check-in at my gym, or any gym for that matter.
  • Be notified of what the drink specials are when I go to a bar.
  • Know what the wait time will be when I go to a doctor's office, or an emergency room.
  • Know how I can get to Des Moines when you just delayed my flight and I'm going to miss my connection.

This is another way to deliver "wow" customer experiences that I will tell others about.

The possibilities are endless from a marketing perspective. You have an opportunity to provide value by improving the quality and simplicity of someone's life.

A recent survey of consumers reinforced the importance of simplification and saving time.

If you're able to help the consumer get through their day more simply and efficiently, you're showing the customer your care about them and their needs and building an emotional connection to the customer.

Foursquare identifies five best practices for location marketing:

  1. Make it close. How close? Within one mile in dense urban areas, three miles in suburban areas and 10 miles in rural areas. Chipotle is two miles from my home and four miles from my office.
  2. Make local work harder. If you're doing location-based marketing already (e.g., outdoor or direct mail) consider loaction-based digital and see what's more effective.
  3. Make any messaging opt-in. A mobile device is the most personal piece of hardware your customer owns. They look at it an average of 150 times per day. Make sure they're open to receiving messages from you and give them an easy way to opt-out.
  4. Make it more than location. While location is powerful, combining the knowledge of location with past behavior, social insights and time of day can lead to much more relevant messages and offers.
  5. Make it addititve. You must ensure you are delivering information of value and adding to the customer experience rather than detracting from it. Be smart. Don't be creepy.

Is SoLoMo on your company's radar? Should it be?

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Tags: outstanding customer experience, information of value, consumer insights accelerate sales, connecting emotionally with customers, referrals