What Don't You Know About Customer Expectations Between Purchases?

Most marketers don’t know enough about what goes on with their customers during the periods of silence between purchases.
This is because information about customers is often limited to the transactional: Did they buy, and if so what...or, no, they did not buy.
This lack of customer insight becomes even more dangerous when the re-purchase or renewal periods span long periods of time, say one to two years.
How can you provide useful, relevant information during those long intervals of silence between purchases…information that helps you create deeper engagement with customers and achieve competitive differentiation?
The only way is to develop a better understanding of your customer’s true needs. And the only accurate way to do that is to ask them.
The current cover story of Target Marketing magazine features a detailed case study of how HMS National increased renewal rates by over 20%, by implementing “voice of the customer” driven strategies that asked customers directly for greater insight regarding their needs and expectations.
Here are some highlights from the article:
All marketers think they know what their customers want. How many of them are wrong? How many lose sales because they're not hearing the "voice of the customer"? Can you be sure your customers are satisfied with the experience you think they want?
Tasked with raising renewal rates on home warranties, Doug Stein, president of HMS National, was faced with those questions. He turned to a process of in-depth customer interviews, called "voice-of-the-customer" research, for answers. The strategies and tactics HMS drew from that research measurably increased customer satisfaction, lifted renewal rates 20 percent across the board—75 percent in some segments—and helped the company chart a new course with the customer as its "North Star."
To read more click here.
Try This:
Ask yourself how much you could deepen customer engagement and revenue if you had direct “voice of customer” insight into your customer’s needs during those long silences between purchases.
In addition to in-depth voice of customer research, consider building one simple question into every customer or prospect related contact, across all media.
The question should be asked of prospects, purchasers, and customers with product or service issues.
The question might go something like this:
arrowCan you please tell us your primary interests and needs related to our product or service, so we can provide you with relevant and useful information? (If it's not relevant to your needs, we won't send it to you.)
Capture the responses to this question in a contact management system and use the data to drive increasingly relevant and targeted communications which your customers and prospects will perceive as value based, not sales focused.