Much has been said about those companies that don’t know their customers and those customers who don’t know what they want. But there is a third problem: when our customers don’t know us.
Generally, companies put all their efforts on attracting new customers. For them, companies have built a website, a corporate presentation, videos, etc. Through these means, new customers can get an idea of the services and products offered.
In most cases, once companies have managed to convince the potential customer, the marketing tasks are considered finished. The new clients will continue to use the same service or product and their interest in the rest of the offer will disappear quickly.
But companies and customers change over time. Companies eliminate, modify and create new services and products. Customers evolve, have new needs and their resources increase or decrease.
And then comes the day that our customers don’t know who we are. And if they don’t know who we are, they don’t know why they should continue with us.
How could we prevent this situation?
Most companies use email, but this isn’t very effective because it’s an unintended communication by the customer, often with confusing and unattractive format, that has to compete with many other emails.
Luckily there are other more interesting ways, complementary to each other.
1. Extending our offer without communication
Improving or expanding our services and products without giving prior notification to customers. This is the case of, for example, Google, who regularly surprises us with something new.
When the customers/users access the service they simply find the changes (usually for the better). It is only then when Google explains the meaning of the novelty and invites them to know it in more detail.
This strategy is well received when the change involves improvements in the offer and doesn’t affect any “sensitive” aspect, such as security, privacy or price. In these cases, making changes without notice may be counterproductive (something that Facebook knows well).
2. Offering a free sample
In those cases in which the improvement or extension of the offer requires a purchase, the company may choose to offer a free sample at the time the customer accesses the usual service or product.
This strategy is widely used in the catering industry. Because customers tend to be very conservative and loyal to a particular product, they rarely take risks with an unknown product. The only way to reduce this risk is to invite the customer to taste a free sample. If they like it, they will most likely buy the new product the next time.
3. “Trojan Horse Strategy”
Including advertising about our offer in each of our products and services. Thus, the company ensures that those customers that consume only a small part of the offer will be aware of the whole.
The aim of this strategy is to avoid disturbing the customer with additional communications, since advertising is part of the product or service purchased. In practice, it is based on the logic of the “product placement”, or even in the advertising strategy used in Google AdWords or Gmail.
Obviously, to maximize its usefulness, advertising shouldn’t be oversized or applied indiscriminately. It is important to adjust the message to the right moment, season, customer and service or product. In this way, we will increase the likelihood of drawing the attention of the customer.