Customer Loyalty & Advocacy Drives Media & Entertainment Growth
At a leading Media & Entertainment provider, Vlocity customer handles inquiries upwards of 20% faster because agents have a full view of the customer journey at their fingertips.
One way to think about the distinction between customer success strategies and the topic of Customer Loyalty & Advocacy is through the event horizon in question. The earlier discussion focuses largely on singular events—a sales transaction, a problem/inquiry solved or a new product launch. Incumbents should view customer loyalty and advocacy as the culmination, or sum, of all sales, service and marketing customer experiences, with different strategies to consider once you have achieved a loyal base of customers.
A widely referenced study published in the Harvard Business Review found that the cost to acquire a new customer is 6–7 times higher than maintaining an existing customer relationship. And a pivotal study by Bain & Co. found that just a 5% percent increase in customer retention yields profit increases of 25% to 95%—a powerful reminder of why customer retention is essential to maximize business value.
Customer Loyalty & Advocacy Drives A Host of Business Benefits, Including Significantly Higher Revenue at a Much Lower Selling Cost.
Let’s focus on three topics that are driving customer loyalty and advocacy further in the digital age:
Customer Journey Management
Specialty / Loyalty Program Modernization
A customer journey represents a sequential set of steps that depict how a customer interacts with a company, including the company’s people, processes, systems, physical objects and places experienced along the way. With today’s digital technology, companies are now able to catalog customer journeys more systematically. Customer journey management helps enterprises understand usage, adoption, channels, interactions and other behaviors that guide individuals to enhanced engagement and better overall outcomes.
In aggregate, customer journey management provides incredible insight into the actions needed to drive new business and customer retention. For example, Media & Entertainment subscriber plans now understand that possessing more than one service offering results in a significant reduction in churn risk, thus driving the voluntary benefits we see today.
But the real value in customer journey management comes from individual-level insight and action. Vlocity is at the forefront of bringing this context to frontline employees at key points of interaction. Knowing historical purchases helps identify relevant and welcome follow-on offers. Knowing a customer’s experience in trying to resolve an issue helps frontline employees empathize with customers, accelerates understanding and improves the likelihood and speed of service resolution.
At a leading Media & Entertainment provider and Vlocity customer, inquiries are handled upwards of 20% faster because agents have a full view of the customer journey at their fingertips, describing their 360-degree customer console as a “great system,” “easy-to-navigate,” “user-friendly” and offering “multiple ways to get to things.”
Integrating and understanding the customer journey across multiple channels is creating clear advantages for the enterprise, but customer journey management is about to be transformed further with IoT (Internet of Things) technology. “Smart” offerings will be able to create a comprehensive portrait of a customer’s end-to-end experience outside of traditional channels, which is fundamental to understanding customer behavior and driving loyalty and advocacy.
Specialty programs focused on customer loyalty are undergoing a resurgence in the digital age and new technologies allow Media & Entertainment companies to answer important questions that were simply not answerable in the past:
How many people were engaged in the program?
What percent of people exposed to the program decided to participate?
How many customers began participating in the program, but later abandoned it?
Did any customers tell their friends about the program?
What is the revenue difference between loyal customers and non-loyal customers?
Digital leaders are embracing a variety of new technologies and methods to make specialty programs more informed, easy, fun, and rewarding–for both subscribers and Media & Entertainment providers.
● Informed – Track activity across multiple channels and integrate new usage and location data to provide a rich data set for mined insights and insights into improved customer-focused initiatives.
● Easy – Offer easy access to programs by providing mobile-responsive purchase and activity data points and multichannel access to any loyalty-based info.
● Fun – Modern specialty programs embrace concepts of gamification—the application of game-thinking in non-game contexts—to encourage more active participation with increasing rewards at different tier levels. By 2020, the evolution of emerging technologies combined with smart psychological components will further enable the adoption of gamification as a way to make loyalty programs more engaging, accessible and a win for the consumer and the enterprise.
After customer loyalty is secured, advocacy activation is any company’s next step. If you are a customer loyalty leader, you now have a large cadre of active, committed and happy customer advocates. No level of marketing investment can match the personal recommendations and reviews of your customer advocates. When marketing becomes an organic phenomenon, it is always more effective than messaging initiated by the enterprise.
According to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92 percent of consumers trust organic, user-generated content (UGC) more than they trust traditional advertising. When compared to other forms of advertising, word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) has been found to be more advantageous in drawing new customers. The key is to digitally evangelize existing customers, turning them into brand advocates who will do the marketing for you.
When marketing becomes an organic phenomenon, it is always more effective than messaging initiated by the enterprise.
Activating your loyal customer base starts with identifying customers who are spreading the most positive messages about your brand—the “passion communities” whose interactions occur on a deeper, more consistent and enthusiastic level. It is they who will provide the “social proof.”
Take time to understand the frequency and conviction of the positive messages they are conveying about your brand. Bring these advocates closer to your brand by integrating them closer to your business operations. With the right incentives and a more personalized style of communication, you will begin to foster “brand champions” who will only be too happy to conduct word-of mouth-marketing for your enterprise.
To be clear, we are no longer in a loyalty incentive game when discussing customer advocacy. Give passionate advocates the respect and admiration they deserve to proclaim opinions and discuss where to take their brand further. Establish forums to gauge where the brand needs to go next and provide non-monetary perks that deliver insights to new product development and new customer initiatives that only current employees (and customer advocates) are able to see.
In doing so, you begin to make the entire brand communication process unique, personalized and truly experiential. This is the ultimate form of company and customer symbiosis, transcending historical, arm’s-length methods such as focus groups to establish real-world access to sentiments from the most valued customers that companies must hear to improve their business.
Download the Media & Entertainment guidebook here, to learn more and dig deeper into these best practices.