We now live in a relationship economy.

By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

Of buyers point to customer experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions.

Of buyers say a positive experience with a brand is more influential than great advertising.

How We Got Here

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

– MAYA ANGELOU

Consumers have an overabundance of options.
Most products and services are now commodities.
No offering is unique enough to stand on its own.

Companies that will win understand consumers expect a truly valuable relationship.

Ongoing Value
Memorable Experiences
Share-worthy moments
The Irony

As a consumer, when we see a new customer promotion that benefits us, we’re happy. Whether it’s short-term discount pricing for cable internet or a free mobile phone for switching carriers, we’re provided with an immediate benefit on the front-end that will harm us later.

In 6 months we’ll see our cable bill adjust, we’ll call to inquire, and we’ll be reminded that our reward was only a product of us agreeing to be a new customer of the brand. Similarly, when we’re ready to upgrade our mobile phone, we will be told that we do not qualify for discounted or free equipment anymore because the promotions are only valid for new customers.

This illustrates that there is no monetary benefit in remaining a long-term customer who pays our bill on time and stays loyal to the brand, because we’re being told we will only be rewarded if we have never done business with the company before. We are only eligible to receive large discounts and free equipment if we have never paid them before. As a consumer, we know this does not feel right and seems illogical. Now put your business owner hat on…

What are you currently doing and how much are you spending to attract new customers? Are you spending the same or more expressing appreciation for existing clients?

The Reality

You’re a commodity and your business is vulnerable. This may sound brash, but in today’s modern world, the product or service you offer can be found somewhere else at a lower price. It doesn’t matter if your product is incrementally better than the competition or if your service is a bit more specialized and thorough. What matters is that at the surface, it’s similar enough to the consumer who is shopping. The perception is the same. The consumer is measuring apples to apples and the company that will win typically wins on price…unless that consumer can be driven to them by a passionate referral from a trusted source.

Even if you have already secured the business, worked with a client for years, or have a recurring annual contract as one’s preferred vendor…

Are you currently doing anything so above and beyond that a particular client would decline a meeting with another vendor at a lower price?

Why Passionate Referrals Always Win

It’s all about the way you are made to feel. The reason you innately want to share incredible experiences is because you want others to feel the same.

Passive Referrals

Plumber
Dry-cleaner
Car Wash
VS

Passionate Referrals

Favorite Movie
Best Restaurant
Amazing Hotel