Interactive Marketing: A Little Personal Touch Goes A Long Way

No One Advocates for Robots: Personal Touches Go a Long Way in Building Customer Loyalty

Evolution of marketing: get personal with your best customers aka advocatesSmall acts of excellent customer service and interactive marketing create meaningful relationships with customers. I learned this in early 2005 after receiving an album I had ordered online from Saddle Creek Records, a small record company in Nebraska. The album came with a handwritten note, “Thanks Shannon! Nate”. In an increasingly digital world, where CD purchases were on the decline and illegal downloads were rising, this company was taking the time to write thank-you notes to its customers. I’ve kept that note for the past eight years as a reminder to always provide top-level customer support in my own work.

We live in a world where face-to-face customer service is pretty much dead. How do you encourage the personal feel of your organization when your customer service team is likely to never meet your customer in person? After all, we want to build real fans, true advocates, of our business.  Advocacy is built on human connection, interactivity and customer loyalty. No one advocates for robots.

A hand-written note can be all it takes. Small, personalized acts can be far more impactful than grand gestures. They remind us that we are thought of as individuals. Hand written notes may not be feasible for every business. However, there are countless alternatives you can implement to show your fans you care. Keep track of their birthdays, customer anniversaries, and hobbies or sports teams. Ask them to send you a .jpg of their kids or their pets and make them a personalized mug for their anniversary with their organization. Follow your fans on twitter and stay in touch.  It’s imperative that you have people on your team who actually care about your customer and are willing to go the distance to provide that extra step of service. It represents an evolution of interactive marketing towards a more personalized approach that solidifies brand loyalty.

These small acts of customer service can help create the feeling of community amongst your fans. The impact of providing this level of customer service is a brigade of loyal advocates who are excited to talk about your organization and what you do. They will line up to do testimonials, to swap stories online, and refer their friends. These are just some examples of the evolution of marketing where advocates will be playing a central role. Nate, from Saddle Creek Records, told me that their customers take pictures of their thank-you notes and post them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. How’s that for spreading the word? A piece of paper was all it took to sell me on Saddle Creek Records and I’ve been a loyal fan ever since, telling this story to (no exaggeration) hundreds of people. And I don’t plan on stopping.

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