The subtle impacts of language… on your customers journey

By Joel Nicholson

The questions…

Do you find yourself in a similar challenging position to many marketing professionals that attended our recent industry luncheon event on “a new language to modern customer life cycle messaging”?

The collective group of around 30 senior professionals in Sydney nominated key challenges in growing customer life cycle programs as:

  • Resourcing/financing projects
  • Data visibility and access
  • Relevance of communications vs personalisation
  • Measurement
  • Training internal teams

What else do you find getting in your way of growing your biggest competitive advantage of meaningful and sustainable customer relationships?

The concepts…

Firstly, relationships matter. Science is continually proving our health is closely linked to us holding meaningful connections with other people. Customer relationships is no different.

NPS in organisations like Vodafone and Citi are proving to average higher for extended periods over a given customer life cycle. How? By simply changing the internal language from traditional segments like onboarding, nurturing, retaining, etc, to more customer-centric language like teach me, grow me, endear me, etc.

Finally, accessing or gaining visibility of trustworthy customer behaviour data is more often a process of looking within your organisation rather than searching externally. Recently we helped a brand recover 20% of its customer base that it didn’t previously hold a dialogue with on a key channel. We find there are typically numerous pockets of opportunity that are not immediately visible.

Actions to consider…

Start putting customer relationships at the heart of strategy and decision making. Measurements like NPS, LTV, and engagement scores are a start towards gaining stakeholder buy-in on both short and long term ROI

Create a customer journey framework that everyone can understand. The customer centric segment language described above is but one good example.

Think about how to better capture customer interactions that map to the customer journey dialogue and ultimately their needs. A simple example is when a customer buys a car baby seat, what else does this tell you?!

A special thanks to Kara Every for sharing her experiences on this topic. 🙂