Who in marketing doesn’t like a promotion? Promotions produce profit. They are designed to give customers an improved experience, even if it is only “while supplies last.” They get customer’s attention. They keep your brand in their mind and influence their buying decisions.
Summer is a popular time for seasonal promotions. But what makes a successful seasonal promotion and how can you incorporate your Customer Experience goals into them? It turns out there’s three ways—and best of all you can use these three all year-round on any average Wednesday, too!
3 Critical Elements for Your Seasonal Promotion
- Do more than your Customers expect. All of us have expectations from a Customer Experience. They might be low or high, depending on a number of factors that include our history and our personality. Regardless, we expect these expectations to be met. A promotion will set expectations in the mind of a customer; simply meeting these expectations is not enough. Exceeding the expectation results in surprise and delight, two emotions that are valuable to any Customer Experience. Failing to exceed expectations is a miss, but not nearly so big a miss as when you don’t meet expectations. To avoid any miscommunication, be clear about your promotion right from the start. Misunderstandings are not creating good emotions for anyone involved.
- Keep it convenient. A promotion should never create hassles for a customer. Nor should a promotion confuse customers. Convenience makes it easy for them to participate in your promotion. Not only that, convenience also creates a memory of how easy it was to participate in your promotion. This memory lays the groundwork for when they are making a purchasing decision later. Ostensibly, they will remember how easy it was to work with your brand and will choose your product or service over the competition. Sometimes, your convenient promotion helps establish a new buying habit, which can be an excellent bonus behavioral benefit.
- Remember that promotional costs are an investment, not an expense. if you have a successful promotion that increases the amount of traffic in your channels, it is important to have the bandwidth to handle the influx. Prepare your employees with training, hire staff as needed to manage the new business, and never forget that the expenses involved in being accessible to customers during a successful seasonal promotion is an investment in your brand’s growth, not an expense that steals profits.
Not surprisingly, these are the same principles that apply to creating an emotionally engaging Customer Experience. In our Customer Experience consultancy, we know that emotions are responsible for more than half of any Customer Experience. Evoking positive emotions is vital to creating a Customer Experience that fosters customer loyalty and retention.
The truth is that when you do it well, you can make your customers react emotionally the same way they do when they feel loved. American Express did a cognitive research study back in 2013 of 1,620 adults around the world about how they felt during an exceptional customer service moment. They learned that when customers receive wonderful service, their feelings of wellbeing improved. Moreover, their sense of loneliness, sadness or anxiety decreased. They also produce positive physical responses in both the giver and receiver, which included the following:
- 68% of the respondents felt their breathing rate decrease, signifying they relaxed just thinking about terrific service.
- 74% felt their heart rate increase when thinking about providing excellent service
- 55% felt a boost of self-esteem when other went to an extra effort to provide fantastic service to them
But perhaps most importantly, brilliant customer service created the same feelings as love. Researchers determined first-rate customer service was even better at producing pleasure than kissing!
As Customer Experience consultants, we believe in creating emotions that make a Customer feel valued and appreciated. Or in other words, loved. We use the three principles—doing more, being convenient, and investing in your experience—in our clients’ new experience designs. Each of them creates positive emotional outcomes for customers, which in turn increases the chance that they will feel like coming back.
Seasonal promotions are a great way to get the attention of your customers. They produce excitement, great memories, and more revenue. Making sure that you do more for customers, that you do it conveniently, and keep in mind that costs associated with the promotion are an investment in your brand’s growth, and you will be sure to have a great seasonal promotion. Best of all, these same principles apply after the promotion ends. They are in effect supplies that should always last.
What do you think makes an exceptional, attention-grabbing seasonal promotion? We’d love to hear your insight in the comments below.
Make sure you are providing the best possible Customer Experience to all your clients. To learn how join one of Beyond Philosophy’s brand new training courses.
Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of five best-selling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter and Periscope @ColinShaw_CX