By Jacinta Mathis
We love our customers, but how devoted are we to continuously building our relationship with them? Growth comes from the genuine investment we give to that relationship, our products, and our partners.
For two years I have held a marketing and growth role at KeyMe where I am an active leader in diversifying growth for our business. Maybe you have seen the KeyMe access and key sharing app in the app store—or a KeyMe kiosk in your local Bed Bath & Beyond, Rite Aid, 7-Eleven or at one of our other 3,000+ retail locations. KeyMe kiosks leverage cutting-edge robotics and artificial intelligence to create keys that are convenient, accurate, and secure— and has seen massive consumer and retail demand for our self-service kiosks, which are currently serving over 10 million customers annually. The relationship KeyMe has with our customers and our product is one we are continuously investing in. I have learned once a relationship investment is made, and you’re able to marry the three components of customer, product and partner, growth becomes inevitable.
The 5 Love Languages®, a relationship book written by Dr. Gary Chapman, over 25 years ago was a staple on my parents’ bookshelf. The concepts detailed in the book are centered around empowering relationships and improving understanding and communication through the five love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Although the author of this book did not intend for these concepts to be applied to marketing and the growth of mobile products and services in 2020, they can be, if you love your customers and what you do.
Words of affirmation
Words of affirmation— or expressions of appreciation—build up the relationships with your customers. Showing appreciation to a customer after they've interacted with your product or team is both easy and highly impactful. Affirm your customers early in your interactions and you’ll be one step closer to a lasting relationship. Here are some examples of easy, affirmative communication:
- “Thanks for your order.”
- “Thanks for calling us today.”
- “We’re glad you chose us.”
The affirmation doesn’t always have to be accompanied by a mandate, try offering up a question to the customer for further engagement. This can come later:
- “Please tell us how we did?”
- “Are you willing to share your review in the app store?”
- “Is there anything we could have done better?”
Acts of service
If your highly valued customer is an “actions speak louder than words” person, it is necessary for you practice this love language with your customers early on in your interaction. What we do for our customers makes them want to come back, it makes them tell others, and leaves them satisfied with their experience. To that end, each member of your organization should be empowered to do what’s best and what’s right for your customers without hesitation. Here’s where to start:
- Collaborate with the right people to get things done quickly and efficiently.
- If you see something, do something. Fix the problems and issues when they arise.
- Then say something. Provide updates and communication regarding an internal and external action plan.
Exceptional or neglectful service experiences are what customers remember and oftentimes you only have one chance to make your mark, make it count.
This isn't your opportunity to just start giving things away. In our world of growing and developing products, our product is our gift. How each of us chooses to optimize and iterate our products has the potential to expand customers and revenue. Our product is the gift that keeps on giving.
A thoughtful gift is necessary for you to foster a meaningful relationship with your customers, partners, or employees. A gift to your customers may need to be unique for the type of customer your business values the most. While your employees and partners may have other very specific needs, your work should be to stay aware of what your valued customer needs, and then giving it. A few ways giving may be applicable to you, your customer, and your business:
- Expanding your product offering based on customer’s additional needs.
- Providing access to tools and technology your employees and marketplace need.
- Treating yourself, doing everything possible for your business to scale.
As an example, KeyMe expanded beyond key duplication kiosks and began to offer on-demand car key duplication and locksmith service directly to customers. A new product and service was created to expand the way KeyMe is able to meet the needs of their customers.
Quality time leads to quality partnerships. The tenet of spending time and money wisely should be at the center of your team, this is a practiced core value of KeyMe. In making wise decisions about your time you are also making a thoughtful decision about who to spend your time with, who your time is for, and how much your time is worth. In marketing terms, this translates to:
- New integrations and updates to your product can open additional revenue opportunities.
- Partner with other businesses that want to expand what they offer the customers.
- Try new paid and organic marketing and advertising channels that make sense.
Accepting the value and opportunity of being a digital out of home media owner is something KeyMe invested quality time in and it has been well worth it. Not only for KeyMe’s business but also for the thousands of brands who choose to advertise their products on our kiosks’ digital screens. According to Magna & Rapport globally digital out-of-home media sales have been growing by 16% per year in the last five years. Which has motivated KeyMe to embrace the challenge and invest our time and talents into our expansion as a media owner.
Physical touch to physical action
Physical touch can be translated into physical action, especially since many products do not present any reason or opportunity for us to literally touch our customers. However, there are times when delivering an exceptional product experience requires a brand ambassador to be in the field and with a customer. When this happens, seize the opportunity and:
- Take action with consent and communication.
- Be transparent.
- Be accessible in your communication.
Our customers sometimes invite our KeyMe locksmiths to their homes to complete services. In an effort to offer the best product and customer experience, we send each customer a mobile web link that includes the profile of their KeyMe locksmith with real-time tracking.
“Showing a little love” to your customers and partners through these five love languages can drastically improve your growth opportunities and is an exciting journey to embark upon. When love can be clearly translated into appreciation and that appreciation is made apparent in your products and services, marketing becomes simple. Apply these principles to your business and you won’t be disappointed.
Jacinta Mathis, Senior Director of Growth Services at KeyMe, is in love with customer acquisition and tech. With over 12 years of experience spanning media, marketing, advertising, tech, and sales, Jacinta is uniquely qualified to grow an emerging two-sided marketplace locksmith services product and a valuable digital out of home media opportunity at KeyMe.
Join Jacinta at MGS20 for her session “Unlocking Innovative Solutions.”