article

Jihan Ouarti

Operational marketing project manager

Views and ideas

 

A study conducted by IMB finds that 46% of the managers surveyed intend to further collaborate with their customers. Within 3 to 5 years, they will be more than 90%*!

 

Why such an interest? Proximity with customers makes it possible to make them more loyal and more engaged towards the brand.

 

In fact, over the past few years, we have entered a new era: the collaborative marketing era. This new approach has deeply changed our consuming habits and even our lifestyle. With the advent of corporations such as Uber or Airbnb on international markets, our traditional economy has been put into question. No-one could miss out on this revolution.

 

Thus, these businesses have created co-construction. The aim is to enable customers to contribute to products and services of the brand, and to regard them as real ambassadors, sharing their opinions, their ideas, and their inventions etc…

 

Current consumers need this trust-based relationship with brands. With regards to the latter, they rely on their customers to know their opinions and to further adapt themselves to their expectations.

 

Customer satisfaction is now so passé! We are now way beyond the simple response to a customer’s request. It is now essential to enchant the customer, that is to say, we must deliver an emotion, provide a magical moment, or simply surprise him!

 

As is often the case, American companies are one step ahead of us. In France, we are just beginning to understand this notion and take it into account. To this end, company managing executives must empower their staff and leave them some leeway. In order to enchant the customer, it is essential to distance yourself from the procedures and other tasks that leave little or no room for empowerment. Boldness is a must if you want to astonish, move and therefore enchant your customers.

 

To illustrate my point, here is an example I greatly enjoy: it’s the “Come on Howard, have a coffee” operation led by Michel & Augustin. Their epic, as they dubbed this adventure, started when Starbucks’ world headquarters ordered samples for their executive board.

 

They decided instead to send two “troublemakers” (monikers given to Michel & Augustin staff) to provide Starbucks with sample products and above all, to meet Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks.

 

What really gave this meeting such a magnitude is that they didn’t show up on their own. They took the whole community along with them. How? They asked all their followers to take selfies with a cup of coffee with a “Come on Howard, have a coffee” mention on it. They also shared a video of their epic posted on their accounts every day.

 

Therefore, make room for the advisor’s imagination: it’s an absolute prerequisite for customer enchantment to happen!

 

 

 

 

 

* Study conducted by IBM in 2013 with more than 4,000 senior executives