One of the bi-products of our caffeine crazed, media blitzed economy is that we have virtually no attention span. It is as if we have a collective form of ADD.
Over time, customers get bored with their vendors, alliance partners and trade associations. Client relationships have a natural tail.
The ability to continuously delight customers is a skill mastered by few. Clients need some type of stimuli that reinforces the value we provide them and it needs to come in different forms at different times. Variety is not just the spice of life; it is the remedy to overcoming the dreaded inevitable customer fatigue.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that challengers are incented to barrage prospects with new offers and discounts. In relative terms, the incumbent can easily become complacent and offer clients much of the same. As the old adage goes, “if it isn’t broke…”.
Customer fatigue only magnifies themes we have often shared in this space. The number one rule of customer relationship management is to take better care of the customers you already have than new ones you might attract. Offering special discounts to new customers flies in the face of this principle. Organizations often position their best people as hunters, and lowly customer service agents as the face of the company with current clients. An organization can easily lose sight of its most precious possession, its most profitable customers.
Vendors should track the average length of their relationships and take actions to prolong them. The element of surprise is understood by entertainers and magicians. Similar tactics can be applied from our business gifts, customer reviews, plant tours and the like. Customers should be treated differently based on their lifetime value, and perhaps even receive different benefits based on their tenure. Find a way to shake things up and keep customers coming back for more.