OK, so Skechers' rocker-bottom shoes failed to magically transform consumers into Kim Kardashian or Joe Montana. But the company continually delivers strong customer service and rewards, underscored by its consumer-centric approach.
Making sure customers are heard is at the center of the footwear brand's digital strategy. According to Adweek, Skechers.com features 60,000 products reviews and 32,500 questions and answers. Is this because Skechers' customers are inherently vocal online or because the company has provided an ideal forum for digital interaction? After browsing the company's website, the answer is clear.
In order to provide shoppers with timely, relevant information, Skechers partnered with PowerReviews to implement the vendor's "Social Answers" question-and-answer tool. When shoppers click the "Questions" button, they are able to pose specific product questions that are quickly sent to customer service and to customers who have previously purchased the item. Within three hours, the customer is sent a follow-up email answer, which links to the product's page.
According to Skechers' ecommerce merchandising manager Timothy Lakin, "Because a customer who submits a question is already engaged, if we can give them the answer they want in a timely fashion, they usually buy the shoe." And he is right, as PowerReview reports that "80 percent of answer notification emails were opened, and more than half of those emails resulted in a conversion." To boost the success of its site, Skechers motivates its customers to share online by monetizing their content. Members of Skechers' "Elite Reward" program receive points for submitting reviews and answers to questions posed by fellow consumers. Customers save their earned points for discounts on Skechers.com.
With 4,400 hotels across the world, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is the world's largest hotel company. Accordingly, IHG provides the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club Rewards, in which club members receive 10 points for every dollar spent. To connect with consumers digitally, IHG has launched a number of apps including the "Priority Club Rewards" app for the iPhone and the "Concierge Insider Guide" for the iPad. With the Priority Club app, users can book, change, or cancel hotel reservations as well as redeem reward points, view hotel photo galleries, or receive GPS-enabled hotel directions. The iPad app provides travelers with concierge recommendations, video tours, insider tips, room bookings, and more.
Not only does InterContinental have a strong mobile presence, but the company also recently launched the first global, multi-language shopping portal in the hotel industry. IHG's shopping portal features 600 leading online retailers, from Target.com to Nordstrom, and Priority Club members receive points for every online purchase.
Once again, companies with strong followings ensure loyalty through special rewards and a consumer-centric focus to guarantee a personalized experienced.
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Thanks Kyle for all the time it must have done to collect such an inspiring collection of examples. Following on from Brant's comment about being more than "digital minded" I agree, but for slightly different reasons.What all these brands have understood is that digital is so much more emotional than other media. It is intimate and direct, which in my books anyway is the best way to get a message into the heart of a customer. All these brands also seem to have a passion for customer centricity that comes through what they do, how they do it and the words and sentiments they use in their connections.Be warned I will steal with pride a few of your great examples - but will of course give you the credit!
Looking through these cases, which are great examples of brand based CRM initiatives - I'd say it's much more than being ''digital minded''. At the heart of most of these are strong value-add services. It's like saying "shops build sales through bricks". Digital is merely a facilitator, a building material, for developing compelling, customer driven, elements. Digital media does enable faster, more iterative, development of customer value-adds, but don't forget the basics too. Also, would be nice to see actual results - but I know details like that are rarely made available.
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