Should “Making the Customer Happy” Be Part of Your Retail Marketing?

Happy customer meterSo much of retail marketing is focused on doing everything you can to bring customers through the door now. Whatever it takes. Big discounts. Financing. Free gifts. BOGO offers. All with lots of urgency to drive traffic this weekend. In today's tough retail environment, is there room to talk about the little things that make customers happy beyond amazing deals? The short answer is yes. The real world answer gets more complicated.

The fact of the matter is you need to drive traffic today, but you also need to build up your brand along the way. Customer decisions are never purely based on logic. Simply analyzing what's the best deal for the product they want isn't the only factor. That's why most successful retail marketing builds up the excitement of the sale or deal rather than merely putting it out there. That taps into the customer's emotions. But to really motivate the consumer to become a customer, you need to use your data to get insights into what customer emotions are involved in the decision making. Then by tapping into those emotions, you can better motivate the desired action. It's a process we call Humanalytics – factoring in human emotion into our data analysis. 

Customer-DelightOne of the stronger human emotions is the desire to be happy. We have one retail client who is very good at making customers happy, so we've made that a cornerstone of their retail marketing. Other retail clients aren't as good at it, but are making strides to find ways to create that customer happiness. One client has started touting quality to good, it's guaranteed for life as a way to combat some negative issues and start to give the customer some assurance of happiness with their purchase. 

In a recent article from iMedia, they talk about how the shift to the rapidly moving digital — especially mobile — landscape has forced retail marketers to change the way we market to customers. They talk about needing to leverage micro-moments in the customer journey to create happiness. Much of this is accomplished by providing key information customers are looking for at each stage of their customer journey. This information needs to be presented in helpful ways. It can't be presented in a hard sell, get your butt in the door now way. That creates other emotions like anxiety and distrust of the information. 

Happy customer iconWith so much brand transparency today – whether you embrace it or not – it's easy for your customers to see what you're all about and whether you are going to make them happy. If you truely do things that make them happy, don't make it hard for them to find. Instead, find ways to seamlessly fold it into your retail marketing materials. And make sure it's authentic. That's why customer-centric marketing has become so popular. Putting your customer at the center of everything you do shows that you do have the customers' happiness at the heart of your brand. You will still need to create urgency and tout your latest offers to drive store traffic. But creating ways to let customers know how you'll make them happy not only serves as a tie-breaker when making a decision where to shop – it can actually tap into deeper emotions and help drive more traffic into your stores and onto your site. 

Happiness is the long game. It doesn't happen overnight. It's more than worth it, however, if you can pull it off. Not just in terms of today's sales, but in the lifetime value of your customers. 

Mike McClureMike McClure, feeling happy about retail

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