From search & buy to a customer relationship by Jordie van Rijn @jvanrijn
A small exercise. Close your eyes and think about the products in the room. Do you know which brands they are and where they were bought? We don’t know the brands of most of the product we use. Now how are those brands going to keep us loyal?
A cool story
Half year ago I bought a refrigerator online. I don’t buy a fridge every day, so I wanted to know more about it before I bought one. I searched online about the different types. I also went to a physical shop that week to ask one of the salesmen what to look for and to see some of the models.
Now I know everything about frost-free, dual thermostats and why transparent freezer drawers are a good idea. It was a whole new world opening up to me. I went online again, searched for the cheapest shop on a comparison site and ordered it from the comfort of my home. It was a “search and buy”.
What’s my name?
They brought the fridge on time, payment was correct and the fridge works like a charm. The service was good, so I was totally satisfied. They have an extra loyal customer. I would certainly buy with them again, even if they were a bit more expensive. But euhhh.. what was their name again? I would never know. Retailers, media and services that are only online, face a bigger challenge when capturing their audiences attention and keeping their brand top-of-mind.
Importance of contact
To all of those brands, take note. A competitive advantage based purely on price is a hard thing to maintain. Customers are not going to buy from you again if they don’t remember your name. And if it was a “search and buy”, they still need to get to know your brand áfter they bought from you.
Takeaway: How do brands become friends? By keeping in touch, preferably meaningful, helpful contact that sparks a positive emotion. A welcome (email) program then seems a bit more than just a way to do some cross-selling. For some companies it’s a pure necessity to get just one loyal customer.
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