Creating Rewarding Relationships With Your Employees and Customers
Your people are the most important asset to your business. Your customers. Your prospects. Your employees. Your senior management team. Your suppliers. Your distribution network.
Each and every one contribute towards the success of your organisation. This is why building and maintaining a healthy, (and rewarding!) relationship with them is essential.
Let’s dive into how you can create rewarding relationships with both your employees and customers.
Turn good customer service into great customer experience
“What’s the difference between customer service and customer experience?” Great question. We’re glad you asked.
Well… customer service is something you provide. It’s the advice and support you give and it’s how you react to your customers’ needs. Customer experience, on the other hand, encompasses all the interactions between your brand and a customer. It’s about the entire journey, not just the human interaction.
Great customer service and experience should be a given, however some businesses don’t realise this. We all think we are good at it. In fact, a Bain and Co survey found that 80% of companies claim to deliver superior customer experience, but only 8% of customers agree that it actually was superior. So if you want to get it right, consider the following:
- Personalise the experience
Remember special occasions, remember people’s interests, where they are going on holiday or their favourite football team. Technology, such as Mailchimp or our very own platform, can help you tailor your communications. We’re in the 21st century so there are no excuses to send generic emails these days!
- Make sure your employees are engaged
Employee engagement is directly and inextricably linked to customer loyalty. If your employees are bored or disengaged your customers won’t want to deal with them. The Incentivesmart loyalty sequence, shown below, simply demonstrates the consistent approach required to achieve rewarding relationships. Each stage of the sequence affects the others; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so the outcome of all these interactions depends on the contributions to each one – just like a domino effect.
- Create WOW moments to set yourself apart from your competition
There’s no such thing as a WOW moment that’s too small. It’s always the thought that counts! Take this as an example… One of our clients had noticed that a very important customer had been redeeming cycling products on their loyalty programme. It got them talking about the Tour De France. It was a personal connection that they would have otherwise not discovered. Our client went to Paris the following year to see the last day of the tour and bought his customer back a programme and souvenir bag that cost a matter of a few Euros but the impact was HUGE! This leads us nicely on to the next point…
Rewards need to be relevant and appropriate.
The relationship between you, your customers and employees is reciprocal. When they align with your brand values, exhibit the behaviours you’d like to see or show loyalty to your organisation, it’s only fair to say thanks. Now, you may be thinking that cash is the obvious choice – who doesn’t love a little financial boost, right? The truth is, rewarding your customers with cash can make the relationship feel like a transaction. It’s impersonal, subject to taxes, and, quite frankly, a little lazy.
If you want to get the oxytocin flowing you need to get personal. Not just personal, but relevant. Offering a £10 gift card for a large piece of business is likely to be more of an insult than an incentive. The wrong type of rewards can also be damaging – don’t assume you know what people want. Sending a bottle of wine to someone who doesn’t drink can be demotivating at best.
Think about giving your customer the chance to earn a reward that they really want. Our loyalty platform does just that. Users have the chance to earn points which they can exchange in a carefully curated range of rewards. Individuals can set their own reward goals to work towards.
Communication and educate
Encouraging open and honest communication is important within any relationship, and customer relationships are no different. So often businesses main focus is to get their messaging out and don’t stop to ask for feedback. You need to create an environment where customers can share their ideas and give you feedback on your products and service. Make them feel truly valued and they’ll truly value you in return. A good loyalty programme will give you the platform to do this.
On the topic of a good loyalty programme, you can use this platform to educate you customers with product and company updates. But you shouldn’t assume that just because you create great content that customers will naturally engage with it. You need to encourage them to do so. You can do this on the Incentivesmart platform by awarding points when customers or employees engage with your learning content. That famous quote “Give and you shall receive” is very apt when it comes to loyalty.
We see much higher engagement levels on our platform versus company extranets, after all a customer loyalty or employee engagement programme is a place people want to be, there is something in it for them. They can see their points building and the world of potential rewards that await.
Finally, we want to share the secret ingredient to creating rewarding relationships.
The secret ingredient is much simpler than the Colonels 11 secret blend of herbs and spices. AND IT’S 100% FREE!
If you have a structured and well-planned employee engagement or customer loyalty programme, you will be consistent and consistency builds trust. Be sure to keep the platform up-to-date and communicate with your customers and employees regularly. Tools like Incentivesmart gives you the platform to be consistent.
So let’s summarise!
- Create great customer experiences to get the oxytocin flowing and lay the foundations for loyalty.
- Give rewards and recognition that are relevant and timely to grasp your customers attention.
- Use that attention to communicate your messages and educate your customers on the value you provide, in turn they will feel empowered and significant.
- Be consistent to build trust and positive expectations.
Here at Incentivesmart, our mission is to help create rewarding relationships between businesses, their employees and customers. So take a look at how our customer loyalty and employee engagement programmes can help your business flourish.