At the end of last month, Team CallRail had the pleasure of attending and sponsoring the latest installment of HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference and we’re still reeling from their killer lineup. If you’re wondering — yes, Michelle Obama’s discussion lived up to the hype, not to mention other stand-out discussions with Issa Rae, Brit Marling, Elaine Welteroth and more. Did you miss out on this year’s show? Check out our top highlights and our favorite sessions. It was definitely one for the books, and we’re happy to have had the chance to expand on existing connections and build new ones.

Speaking of connections, a lot of companies like to boast a customer-centric strategy, but are they actually implementing one? If you’re interested in building customer-centric relationships you’ll need to focus on more than just digital interactions, though it’s easy to lose sight of that in this day and age. This is especially hard to do when there is so much focus on demand generation and bringing in new customers, making it hard to dedicate time to positively nurture the ones you already have.  

While a company’s focus should be customer-centric, that’s not a replacement for being human-centric. Companies have to ask themselves how they can go the extra mile to remind customers there’s a team of humans behind their products and services. What strategies can you implement that remind your customers that you know they’re human, too? Your customers are the heartbeat of your business, and that beat can start to flatline if you turn a blind eye to their wants and needs, and only see them as a number on your spreadsheet.

In fact, a staggering 68% of customers churn because they believe the business doesn’t care about them. Meaning, customers are almost five times more likely to leave because of perceived indifference than because they are dissatisfied with your product or service. Both of which are elements you can change and control. 

So, how can we bridge the gap left by a strictly digital relationship? Why does going the extra mile matter?

While we operate out of Atlanta, most of our customers are spread all over the country and even all over the world. We saw INBOUND as a unique opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation for our customers, since quite a few of them live in Boston and thousands traveled from all over the world for this show. We decided to cook up something special to show just how much we value our users: A customer happy hour, complete with an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. Amidst the ton of fun we had, this experience in itself reminded us of how important it is to make this connection with our customers.

We created a space for our team and our customers to put a face to our names, have meaningful conversations, and build the invaluable relationships that make all the difference along a customer’s journey with your brand. Not only was this a chance for a meaningful meet-and-greet between CallRail and our users, it was also a chance for fellow customers to have discussions amongst themselves about their work, building a true sense of community.  

Why does a customer appreciation strategy matter? There are countless reasons why customer appreciation is vital to your success, but here are three of the big ones:

  1. Increased market value. Happy customers are happy to tell. They’re more likely to recommend you by word of mouth or leave reviews online, which is critical for prospects exploring their options. A study by BrightLocal found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. And, 74% of people say that positive reviews make them trust a business more.
  2. Increased customer loyalty and retention. Loyal customers are one of your brand’s greatest assets. They provide opportunities to better understand why they love your brand so much, so that your team can capitalize on that to make room for more loyal customers. They give you the insight you need on understanding what’s truly working and why you shouldn’t change that.
  3. Increased profits. An American Express study found that 70% of Americans are willing to spend an average of 13% more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. Furthermore, its six to seven time cheaper to sell to an existing customer Your loyal customers will increase their lifetime value to you as you continue to nurture that relationship. It’s much easier to upsell to someone that already believes in your product or service.

 

Showing appreciation for your customers doesn’t mean you have to throw a happy hour, but creativity still goes a long way in leaving a lasting impression. Brainstorm ideas that would fit well with your customers’ profile and your business or industry. And there’s more to customer appreciation than holiday gifts: This article from American Express shares 12 different ways you and your team can get started on building a strategy around customer appreciation.

Everyone likes to feel valued, especially when their dollars are involved. Remember to build your strategy around the human element, because no matter how awesome your business may be, that’s all thrown out the window if you aren’t investing in your customers. There are many pieces to a business that make it successful, but never forget that without customers, there is no business!

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