WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MOVE MEMBERS & OTHER CUSTOMERS TO INCREASINGLY HIGHER LEVELS OF VALUE & ENGAGEMENT?
Peter Burris, leading authority on digital transformation , has a simple answer in his article, “From Product to Outcome Engagement:” outcomes. Burris sees a significant transition to outcome-oriented engagement and uses the technology sector as an example:
"Ah, the good ol’ days, when technology customers just wanted smaller, faster, and cheaper. Well, they still want that, but that’s not all they want. They want business outcomes: the differentiated business capabilities that technology makes possible realized with minimized risk. But most vendors are still set up primarily to sell products. Product portfolios, marketing activities, and sales behaviors still presume that customers largely are passive in the value-creation process, as though the act of buying and achieving outcomes was one and the same. "
They are not. What turns us from casual shoppers to brand advocates, from reluctant gym visitors to fitness fanatics or from analysts of a political party to donors? The transition from one to the other is at the heart of what effective engagement and retention strategy are all about. And they do not simply come about by accident. They require, as Burris notes in the same blog post, that engagement be sustained across a customer’s entire life cycle—something that most of the vendors who are set up to sell products fail to do.
Instead of laboring to create events, launch marketing campaigns, and re-engineer processes, leaders should focus the entire organization on crafting the solutions that customers need and producing outcomes that make a difference in their lives. In order for customers to want to take their relationship with you up a notch in the continuum, they must experience (rather than be told about) something different—more value, better outcomes, a change in an experience, an “aha” moment that makes a difference somewhere.
Identifying and fueling such motivations for constantly increasing engagement is what retention strategies should be about. Partnership relationships between provider and customer that create value for both parties are strong motivators for engagement. Members are motivated to climb to increasingly higher levels of connection with you if, by doing so, they will increase the benefit they get from the association.