As I write this, it's a beautiful morning in London, brisk, wet, cold but bright. Typical for London so I have to be grateful for what I get.
Despite this, millions of tourists flock to visit London year on year. In fact it was recorded in 2014 that London alone had more than 17.4 million tourists - wow!
Don't get me wrong I love London and I'm a city boy in London born and raised. In a lot of ways I understand the allure. It struck me more after having a conversation with a guy from South Korea who was visiting London. I asked the typical question, "What was it that brought you to London?" his answer was quick and precise - "The history, the monarchy and the shopping".
There it was these three distinguishing attractions that caused this guy and his friends to plan, save, pay a fair amount for the flights and hotels, travel to an airport, get on a long flight, endure our weather and so on.
After reflecting briefly on the conversation it was clearer to me that we can learn a lot from tourism in our customer engagement that we perhaps haven't considered.
When it comes to key account management and account management we may have clients from all around the world. 17.4 million people believed the perceived value of London was worth all the preparation, the money, the travel for the reward of being here.
The question here is:
What attractions or qualities are in your business, that your clients would say they would go out of their way to get from you because they believe in that perceived value?
This is a harder question than "Why do your customers buy from you?" This is fundamentally about the 1-3 qualities you or your business has that is so intrinsically attractive to your customer they wouldn't think about going anywhere else.
If you've never thought about this question. Here are three ideas I've taken from the tourism industry that you could think about in your customer engagement or business from today.
You will always have one distinguishing quality that outweighs overs, but this may be unconscious to your customer. How do you find this distinguishing quality? Look for those aspects of your service, product, after service, results that really excites your customers. Don't evaluate for satisfaction evaluate for excitement and once it's discovered. Amplify this and use it as often as possible in your marketing, communication and as part of your value strategy.
What happens when your customer arrives can sometimes matter more than what they'll get. The product you deliver is clearly important but what tourism recognises is the experience the customer has matters more. If your customer has a great heroes welcome into your business. They feel recgonised, safe, understood, cared for, if something happens with your product or service they'll forgive you. It's less likely you'll recover if your customer service is poor.
Make it easy for your customers to navigate what you offer. I have to admit in London as soon as you arrive there are so many ways you can get connected. Pamphlets, tour buses, specialist taxes, trains to tourist attractions etc... Yet you can find that customers can be completely confused with the services and products their suppliers offer. The key is to make your products and solutions like a journey that allows your customers to see where they can go next, the benefit they'll receive but importantly that experience they'll have.
By Jermaine Edwards, Founder and Author of the Key Account Hack. As a customer growth speaker and coach. Jermaine helps Key Account Managers, Managers of account teams, Solopreneurs and businesses around the world differentiate their value for retention and see up to 30% - 40% sales growth every year from their key customers. Using the key account hack system you access a proven step by step guide that leads you to deeper and more influential client relationships and massive customer sales growth in just 90 days. For more information visit his website, Twitter or LinkedIn.