Article

3 organizations on fostering long-term customer relationships

By Leah Kidd

Published October 6, 2020
Last updated October 6, 2020

Staying connected to customers has always been important, but maintaining a connection that’s exclusively digital is easier said than done. Thankfully, living online and great customer experiences don’t have to be mutually exclusive. As part of Zendesk’s CX Moments, a free virtual event series, three global brands recently shared how they are using technology, community, and purpose to drive their businesses forward—and to create and nurture those crucial ongoing connections.

FabFitFun: Relationships and experiences go hand-in-hand

FabFitFun aims to deliver a bit of happiness to everyone, regardless of where they are. And in tough times like these, a subscription box can offer a moment of brightness and excitement, according to Caitlin Logan, senior director of customer experience at FabFitFun. FabFitFun’s boxes include items related to beauty, fitness, wellness, and home decor—and when it comes to watching trends, identifying rising brands, and selecting the best or newest products to include in each box, “We do all of the heavy lifting,” Logan says. “All the members need to do is sign up. It comes to their house where they can just enjoy it.”

Staying connected to customers has always been important, but maintaining a connection that's exclusively digital is easier said than done.

While some brand experiences are a one-time thing, FabFitFun offers an ongoing connection with their customers all year long. With boxes arriving quarterly, customers have ample time to get the most out of each product they’ve received, but also develop a sense of excitement around what’s coming in the next box.

Plus, FabFitFun employees actively engage with members on dedicated forums, where customers are able to offer more organic feedback. Through these forums, customers feel the brand truly cares about them and their opinions of the products they receive because the brand responds. Building community amongst your customers and encouraging them to engage with one another gives members a chance to really connect with your brand—and one another—more deeply, Logan shares.



Four Pillars: Purpose drives the experience

How a customer interacts with a brand is a process that is always changing. For Four Pillars, an award-winning gin distillery based out of Melbourne, Australia, the experience a customer has with the product is everything. Co-founder Matt Jones explains that no matter how exceptional your product is, “this truly remarkable craft is nothing if we can’t translate that into experiences that build community and bring our customers on this journey with us.” When an excellent product and an unforgettable experience combine, customers are more likely to develop a fierce loyalty for the brand.

[Related read: Stop for a CX moment—3 companies taking a human approach]

It’s not uncommon to think that a premium cocktail is something that can only be found in an expensive bar, stirred up by a bartender that’s dressed to the nines. For Jones and his fellow co-founders, the driving force behind building excellent, memorable customer experiences was to make quality ingredients more accessible. Before the pandemic, customers often visited the distillery as much for the experience as for the gin. More recently, the distillery has pivoted towards helping customers create a top notch cocktail with Four Pillars gin from the comfort of their own home—an empowering experience that offers a feeling of partnership between brand and customer. “Experiences build a lasting sense of loyalty and commitment,” says Jones.



Xavier College: It’s never a bad idea to get a jumpstart on digital transformation

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that educational establishments still have to run like a business. And core to that is providing a great educational experience.

Patrick Winter, head of Information, Communications and Technology at Xavier College, was looking to enhance the experience the college was offering through better and more efficient technology. “We had a really traditional on-premises approach to our infrastructure and software, and we had a culture where face-to-face engagement was the norm and also really valued,” notes Winter.

Thankfully, living online and great customer experiences don't have to be mutually exclusive.

With multiple campuses spread across Melbourne, Australia, efficiency was crucial. “We were finding that staff would rather travel 30 or 40 minutes to go to a meeting across town, rather than using video conferencing or a telephone call to be able to get that interpersonal exchange and experience.” By encouraging the use of more distance-friendly forms of communication, Winter hoped to cut down on time spent traveling between destinations while simultaneously promoting a more collaborative and digital environment.

[Related read: 4 companies talk CX, changing course, and managing expectations]

When campuses were severely impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns and education was forced to move online, Winter was already 12 months deep into a major digital transformation. “Figuring out how we could take what they wanted, like face-to-face engagement, and just enhance that ability for them, was something we spent months and months going around and engaging people on.” Thanks to this earlier investment in infrastructure, both students and staff easily pivoted and embraced software that they’d already been introduced to and were starting to grow comfortable with.



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