By Monica Bansal
As a marketer, I’ve written at length about how retention marketing is the best way to generate repeat purchases, gain customer loyalty and hence extend the CLV.
Be it the perfect remarketing campaigns or the systematic email sequences, customer loyalty can be solicited, especially when done regularly and strategically by an email marketing agency.
But what I’ve increasingly come to believe is that nothing begets customer loyalty and advocacy like the good ol’ great customer service! As simple as that. Lot of attention is paid to acquire and convert. And there are plenty of metrics to measure those. Very little attention is paid to delight. Delight your existing customers. That will automatically lower the cost of retention and acquisition.
Very few companies put efforts in retaining customers by delighting them. Because it’s hard work, and not easily measurable. Unfortunately, KPIs take priority over customers.
Here are 3 personal examples from the recent past that have me floored and advocating for these companies just because they exceeded my expectations of what excellent service looks like:
1) BlendJet: I’ve loved this company for so many reasons — as a marketer, their brilliant scrappy ads, them as a partner and client at Hustler Marketing, and now as a customer, I love them for their customer service. Recently my Blendjet 2 (which was a gift from them to begin with) stopped working and even though it was largely my fault, they agreed to send a replacement all the way to India when all I was hoping for is a manual to get it fixed locally! All while the rep on the other end was friendly, cooperative and just very “on-brand” the whole time.
2) Another one is Alton, a brand I didn’t even know existed until I purchased a sink tap from them because of its Amazon reviews. The said tap went kaput a total of 7 times in the last 1.5 years, but even though the company wasn’t obligated to offer a replacement, they did, all 7 times, and even beyond the warranty period. All I had to do was send them a video of its leaking and very same day, they’d ship a replacement. At one point, I even started feeling bad for the company. Surely, my 3k purchase had far outlived any profit for the company by shipping 7 free replacements!
3) And lastly Lap Gadgets — I got a mac charger from them, which presumably shorted but since it was still in the warranty period, they agreed to send a replacement, without even needing me to send the faulty one back.
Of course I understand the companies were just honouring their warranties, but they didn’t make me run pillar to post for it, made it all a breeze and ensured that I’d look out for them next time I or someone I know is in the market for their respective products.
As someone who’s worked in ecommerce and also runs a small lifestyle blog, I know it’s incredibly hard to build a profitable D2C business – returns and replacements can RUIN you. And yet these companies run that risk and strive to delight their customers, even though they’re “already in the bag”, and if that’s not respect worthy, I don’t know what is.
If you are an ecommerce brand, strengthen your retention marketing with email and SMS, build all those “you’re our VIP” emails and reward systems for a positive review and a repeat purchase all you want, but the first and best marketing “hack” for nailing a happy customer and a 5* review is damn good customer service!
Sometimes, the good ol adage “show it, don’t just say it” applies best to marketing.
Author Bio: Monica Bansal is an experienced digital marketing professional who heads marketing at a retention marketing agency and has headed marketing functions at EY, Ola, Google amongst others. She’s also an ardent traveler and blogs about home decor and sustainability.