Wendy’s is offering up an answer to its classic 1984 “Where’s the beef?” spot with a new “Here’s the beef” campaign. The brand‘s new messaging is prompted by the latest round of fast-food burger wars aimed at attracting consumers struggling for meal value in a bleek economy. So kudos to Wendy for not focusing on price…they do get it….for a burger customer the buying decision is all about satisfaction.
For my professional marketing readers, let’s go back to the definition of Customer Satisfaction per Wikipedia. We can all use a refresher course, even those of us who “already know” that achieving Customer Satisfaction is the paramount goal and that achieving it is how you get revenue growth. And while many of us view this strategy as a no brainer, a reality check reveals it to be elusive for so many brands. If only I could get the late Clara Peller to ask…”Where’s the satisfaction?”
All marketers and sales people believe they work for the satisfaction of their customers, so why is it so rare? O
ne reason is technology. Most marketers and sales teams are doing all they can to keep up with the choices customers have. Customers are social and mobile. Their satisfaction is not easily won. Brands are running behind. Some are caught up in what’s worked up to now. Others are afraid of venturing into unknown territory — how customers are really making decisions. And there are plenty of psychological and emotional complexities to throw into the mix.
Brands that truly intend to inspire satisfaction are fewer than we’d like to believe and those who accept the challenge to grow have their work cut out. They have more than one mountain to climb.
Satisfaction is achieved by climbing three mountains — each taller than the one before. And when you reach the summit of the third one, you need to get back to the starting point and make the journey again. If you got tired hearing this description read no further. If you were energized by the challenge, here’s your map describing the three mountains looming ahead.
1. Brand Benefits – Get engagement through incentives and offers that save them time or money. Branding your name is key. Frequency is essential. Good loyalty creative, display and rich media advertising, social media and mobile media offers are essential investments, because customers will have a short memory if the gifts and the branding stop coming. Lead them from here to the next mountain.
2. Brand Values – Your messaging and interactions must resonate with customer values and interests. Your challenge here is for your message and brand associations to synchronize with customer demos and behaviors. You’ve got to get to know your “fans” and what makes them tick. Help them do good, express their beliefs, or enjoy how they spend their time. Lead them to try or buy and be ready for them when they start to climb the next mountain.
3. Customer Experiences – This step starts with sales. That experience sets the expectation for the customer. Was the engagement satisfying? Was it a good deal? Next comes the experience with the product and/or service. It’s now about the beef: The quality. The customer service. Their feelings. Did the experiences live up to or exceed their expectations? Is a positive experience a one time instance or repeated again and again? Does your brand continue to get in touch and give them attention? Are they left alone or brought back to the first mountain for another round of rewards?
Satisfaction is tough to achieve and even harder to keep. The work never ends.
I recommend that your business doesn’t take on this climb all on its own. You will need a “team of sherpas” who know the way, and bring the right tools to reach the summit. Assembling a world class Customer Satisfaction team requires partner resources able to extend your involvements more deeply through an integrated suite of digital and traditional channels.
Tool up right, stay patient and consistent, and go for nirvana — shoot for enlightened satisfaction.
How do you know when you’ve reached it? When enthusiastic customers voluntarily share with others their own stories of personal satisfaction. Also they will happily provide your brand with referrals…which will be yet another opportunity for you to reward them (i.e., back to the first mountain).
From a chief executive’s perspective the strategic goal is to leverage satisfaction with your business to grow Lifetime Customers…but for leaders to accomplish that goal they need to invest in bringing their current and future customers through the three-mountain cycle of satisfaction — again and again.