Customer Loyalty and the Election: Not as Different as Red and Blue

Customer Loyalty and the Election: Not as Different as Red and Blue image iStock 000005822932SmallMarketing and advertising expenditures this election season at the national, state and local level are estimated at over six billion dollars. Countless phone calls, scores of direct mail, social media posts, slew of email and hours of TV ads all have the same end goal- to gain your vote. Strategists comb over millions of lines of demographic, socioeconomic and geographic data. But if you think that when the votes are counted and the winners are declared the campaigning ends, you are incorrect. Candidates and politicians, like consumer brands, are always campaigning as every interaction counts toward satisfaction and loyalty.

Like voters, consumers have different options. Organizations are marketing to consumers through various channels informing them about the latest and greatest deals for their products and services. Just as voters compare candidates’ positions on issues, consumers compare service, price and access to customer service. But once new customers cast their votes– which product or service to purchase – this is when the real work begins.

Every customer interaction is a chance for marketers to win or lose. Many of us have witnessed politicians and their embarrassing gaffes or negative comments, but we have also seen legislative victories or heard their first-person voter positive experience stories. Brand interactions can have a positive or negative effect which spreads virally as consumers use social media and post comments online. Negative interactions don’t have to be grim, because turning a negative experience into a positive one can quickly recover “at risk” customers. For example, a customer who recently called into his TV/Internet provider’s customer service center is sent a survey via text message asking about his experience. The customer responded that the interaction was unsatisfactory. The survey results were being monitored, and when low scores were received, a live agent called the customer to gain more insight, resolving the issue and turning it into a positive experience.

No matter which candidate you voted for this election, the winner’s interactions will continue to be evaluated by their loyal constituents and the public, as the next election is always just around the corner. As with politics, the journey to build loyalty is ongoing. Brands should listen and respond in order to close the sale, thereby strengthening loyalty with customers. By continually campaigning using all the customer experience tools and techniques brands have at their disposal, they will keep getting the vote.

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