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‘Woo-hoo!’; I’m precious and much sought after. I’ve not felt this much in demand since I owned the only football in the playground. Shop assistants grease around me and make outrageous offers: They want to be my friend on Facebook: I can be in ‘the gang’. I’m even ‘valued’ (No, not like an antique… Cheek!).
And how do I feel about this adulation? I’m not bothered.
You see they haven’t quite got it right.
Don’t get me wrong I am a customer who is happy to engage. Every year I make a special effort to go to ‘The Langbury’ at Blue Anchor Bay, this has got to be the best hotel experience in the world and I’ve stayed in a lot. I recommend it to everyone and even hand out their business cards.
If you want a bike then the only place to go is ‘Race Scene’ in Barnsley; my bike supplier. I get beautiful Italian cycling products from highly knowledgeable people; what more could I want? As I ride around the Peak District I’m a moving billboard, resplendent in my ‘Race Scene’ jersey, shorts, matching socks and water bottles. I’m not alone; there are lots of other cyclists pounding the local hills in similar kit.
So how have I become an engaged customer?
Firstly, it’s a rational thing: Can I have what I want, have it the way I want it and at a time I want it? Are they easy to do business with and in a way I prefer?
Secondly, it’s emotional and this is what makes the difference and takes me from a regular customer to an engaged customer. How much do I identify with the company; do they share my values? Do they know me and value me, not only as a customer but as an individual? Do they welcome my opinion and make it possible for me to have my say?
Some organisations do this naturally, some try to manufacture it and fail, others work hard to become the sort of people I like.
And it is worth the hard work as once I have chosen to become an engaged customer you can be assured that I will be loyal and rarely take my custom elsewhere. I will have no hesitation in recommending your services to anyone who will listen. I’m happy to give you feedback and let you know how I want to use your service, knowing that you will listen and will accommodate my whims as far as you can. Your organisation is mine, part of my lifestyle, part of my identity.
Who knows, I might even go as far as showing my devotion by getting your logo as a tattoo. Yes, that’s how much I love ‘Codrophenia’, my local chip shop!