Most people are familiar with marketing to attract new clients. But what about the other side of marketing: to keep current clients?
Today we’re looking at how Apple remains an industry giant by focusing on how they use marketing to keep customers.
I had to go to the Apple Store nearly an hour away this week to diagnose a problem on my Mac, and the experience left me with an ah-ha of how you, yes, you, can do the same thing in your business to get referral after referral, and loyal clients for life with a few tweaks to your business.
Whether you love or hate Apple, they do so many things well for marketing and growing their business that you should emulate in your own business as well, for a fancy term I call Customer Retention Marketing (but is SO needs a sexier name!)
What does Apple do well?
Branding. Customer Experience. And…. something most of us don’t even consider an asset, the back-end customer experience.
This is how it shows up for Apple.
Their branding. They have a distinct crisp look to all of their marketing. With the vast amount of white space and the color white in their advertisements. The font.
The customer experience. If you’ve ever been into an Apple store, it’s a sight to behold. It almost feels like you’re walking into those designer stores where there’s security on the outside and a line waiting to go in and once you get in there, everything is lined up just so, with perfect packaging and spacing and the workers are uber helpful. It’s unlike any tech support experience I’ve ever had.
The back-end customer experience. What they’ve designed behind the scenes s that when you arrive at their store, your experience is seamless. This is the scheduling, the way their support team addresses clients, the uniform, the support process and how they explain every step as they’re doing it and get permission along the way. The way they hand off to their tech support team if they can’t solve it on the spot: writing down things to the support team like, “ I set the expectation that” — so that when their support team called me to overnight a package so I can somehow part with my laptop for five days that he was meeting every expectation the in-store Apple member had set.
So what does this mean for their bottom line? It creates loyal, obsessed fans who wait for days outside the store for the next version of a phone, or iPad or Mac they really don’t need to upgrade. Fans who talk about their love of Apple, who refuse to use anything else, and who will save, splurge or automatically purchase anytime something new comes out.
Don’t we all want customers like this for our business?
So here’s how to implement it in your own business, whether you’re a solopreneur or manage a team, whether you have an online or brick and mortar business. These techniques can be applied across the board.
1. Design the experience first. What do you WANT your clients to feel AFTER they’ve worked with you, purchased a product from you, met with you, etc.?
2. Write out word for word a script for what you’d want a happy client to tell someone else ABOUT your business. We know the best marketing is referral marketing because our clients do all the hard work for us and bring willing to buy leads straight to us. The way to get referral marketing is not to just ask (although that’s a great step too) but to orchestrate it.
You may be thinking, that sounds weird, I’m not doing that but hear me out.
If you know exactly what you want someone to say to a friend who might also be interested in purchasing from you, by knowing what they’ll say, you’ll have a clear goal and roadmap of what you need to do on the backend and in the experience to make it a reality.
People don’t just magically say nice things about you. They say them because your experience with them compelled them to tell others because it stood out. And if you don’t make yourself stand out, well they have nothing to say, now do they?
3. Know how your competitors and those in similar spaces are treating their clients and do it better. Doing what everyone else is doing is NOT going to cut it. Today, we expect surprises in customer service thanks to Amazon, Zappos and Disney. What we don’t expect is the consistent surprises and level of service that indicates we noticed our customers.
4. Make your interactions with clients and potential clients as smooth as possible. This means auditing your process and looking for snags. Let’s go back to the Apple store I visited on Tuesday.
>>> When I walked in, not only was I wowed by the giant glass doors, clean tables, and perfect product placement, but I was greeted by someone with an iPad to check me in, direct me where to go and tell me what was going to happen next. While waiting, I could see they had thought of everything for others users who were there just to purchase.
We’ve all bought a phone before, and for some reason, it takes the most ridiculous amount of time to make that purchase. If you do it at an Apple store, they not only have gadgets for YOU to play with while you wait but children’s tables with iAds and children’ games, tiny bean bag chairs and space for kids to be entertained while you wait.
They also came and greeted me, directed me to a specific seating for tech customers, and had everything ready to diagnose my computer’s problem when I sat down. No asking me questions I already filled out when I requested the appointment.
He also gave me options and switched those options when I told him my hesitations about having to hand over my Mac that I use all day every day for 5 days and having to drive another four hours to drop off and pick up at the Apple store. So he overnighted a box to me that I could carefully ship my Mac to the tech office to get it fixed at a time convenient for me to give up 5 days without having to drive to immediately hand it over without warning.
For them to do this, they had to set the scene in the Apple store. They had to have a customer concierge trained to check people in and direct them. They had to have a system in place for the Apple Support team to review appointments before walking each person back so they were ready to begin right away and they had to enable their Support team to make decisions on the fly that suits the customer. That all happened before I arrived.
Look at your own processes in your business for how people connect with you, optin, fill out a form, call you, walk into your store, etc. and view it through their perspective. What can you improve?
These things, though simplistic, are what makes and breaks the customer retention in your business.
Maya Angelou said: People will forget what you said. they will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Design an experience that makes your clients FEEL like they matter to you, and see how it changes your business.
If this is something that you’d love help mapping out >> or you just want a clear path of what to tweak in your business so you can hit big revenue goals, let’s talk strategy.
My clients who do a marketing strategy session love the clarity that comes out of talking through their business with someone with outside ideas, the brainstorming sessions of coming up with new and exciting things to breathe life into your marketing, and of course, the action plan I create just for you based on our 90-minute call that outlines step by step everything you can do to crush your revenue goals.
We will audit what’s working and what can be improved, set some big revenue goals to go after in the next 90 days, and then map out step by step how to get there, from tweaking your website, to the copy you post online, to how you find and attract those perfect clients to how do you walk them through your product funnel (or set one up if you don’t have a natural way for people to keep saying yes to your offers) to the metrics you should be tracking so you know if what you’re doing is working.
If this sounds like something your business needs to take it to the next level and make real money, let’s book a strategy session and do it together by going to divimallory.wpengine.com/schedule-strategy