I recently read an analysis in MarketingWeek on The Challenges Of Customer Lifetime Value. In a nutshell, the article looks at how a siloed organizational approach can keep us from seeing the customer’s overall experience with our business because there isn’t a unified interaction. All the different departments and channels silo the customer input and data, with a frustrating customer experience as a result.
It reminded me of health care experiences where different symptoms were under different doctors’ care and the patient was left wondering who cared about them as a whole person.
Our customers can experience our business in frustrating, random moments. For instance, do you have operating hours? How does one find out? If they go to your website, or look you up on the phone, or check your Facebook page, will those hours match the ones on the door? Do your actual hours match the ones posted on the door?
In another example, does your customer service department know what marketing is doing? Are they prepared for questions on current promotions and campaigns? Does your sales staff have an understanding of your social media presence?
People who feel valued as a whole person will tend to be loyal. If you could add up all their purchases, and word-of-mouth positive sharing, you’d have an idea of their customer lifetime value. It’s huge! You will profit more from a loyal customer who keeps making small purchases and tells their friends about your business than you will from one customer who buys the most expensive item once but never comes back because the experience annoyed them.
Your online marketing has to be part of your offline experience or your customer will react negatively. Think through what it is actually like to be a potential customer, or one of your regular customers (ask a few!) and you will get some ideas for where to start making the experience unified.