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Article -> Good Memory, Good Customers; Great Memory, Lifelong Customers

Date Added: January 2007

There has been a steady trend in redevelopment of corporate attitudes regarding customer appreciation and customer loyalty. It’s proven that organizations must focus on developing strategies to ensure customer retention. Statistics have shown organizations with high customer loyalty have an average net profit of 12%. Astonishing as it is, companies without high numbers of customer loyalty have an average profit of negative 11%.
 
Nearly 80% of corporations believe they deliver superior customer service. Unfortunately for 72% of these organizations, only 8% of customers feel companies deliver this same superior customer service experience. The most puzzling statistic is 80% of customers don’t believe their experiences reflect the experiences companies promote. Business leaders are blinded by the idea that prices are what cause customers to transfer business elsewhere – as this is typically not the case.1
 
A key is to create positive client memories throughout your organization and implement marketing strategies in all venues including your website, advertisements, and other marketing tactics customers come in contact with. It is also extremely important to have your employees provide your customers with a sense of complete satisfaction regardless of the employee touchpoint.
 
Marketing is the most visual and accessible strategy customers attribute to their corporate and brand memories. To create a positive memorable experience, the same commitment shown in marketing must be executed in your customer service. Your company’s capabilities to perform are in direct correlation with building positive memories.
 
The restaurant industry is a prime example where marketing plays a key role in business and memory development. Many restaurant advertisements portray great food, with wonderful hospitality and a fun, relaxing atmosphere. If these claims aren’t reiterated in all client experiences, the customer’s memory will be permanently tainted by the experience. In return, their customers’ word of mouth may do more harm than good.
 
Your corporation must re-evaluate the memories it gives to clients and determine if they truly reflect your marketing strategy. Through the use of third party professional research, your company can develop new, more specific experiences for clients to enjoy; satisfying memories you want your company to portray. Organizations must concentrate on duration, intensity, breadth, interaction and significance (e.g., human senses, symbols, etc.); to increase positive memories and produce relationships, resulting in maximized profitability.
 
AL2A (Ask, Listen, Learn, Act) is a personalized qualitative and quantitative process which helps your organization proactively identify customers' needs. It identifies, measures, communicates and implements what your customers really want. Remember, more than 67% of satisfied customers are open to switching to other corporations, while more than 90% of completely satisfied customers remain loyal. A good memory can be the single defining point of customer loyalty.
 
 
1Crosby, Lawrence A., and Sheree L. Johnson. "Make It Memorable." M M July-Aug. 2006: 12-13.
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