Getting Your Horses (Customers) To Drink Water
The old adage “you can bring a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink” is an extremely pertinent one in the world of Sales & Marketing. For instance, let’s use this adage as the metaphor that it is:
The Horse: Though not the most flattering thing with which to associate a consumer, the horse truly represents the consumer. Like a horse, the consumer is constantly being directed onto different paths; yet ultimately goes to where they are led. Which factors cause a horse to be successfully led to a particular destination? In truth, the answer is quite simple.
Persistence: Imagine if a rider attempted to guide the horse to the right – yet the horse refused to move. The rider would not throw their hands in the air, give up, and make other plans. The rider is persistent in their efforts to move the horse, whether that action entails gently speaking to the horse, whipping the horse, or pulling at the horse’s reins; eventually the horse will move.
Familiarity (Rapport): Riders and horses spend months (if not years) becoming acquainted with each other. The harmony that exists between a horse familiar with its rider (and vice versa) is unmatched. The rider knows exactly how to control their horse, how to maneuver it, and how to recover from falls. Furthermore, the horse trusts its rider. As a result, the horse performs at an optimal level.
Sticks and Carrots (Customer Service): Though the horse trusts its rider, it will not perform at the height of its ability unless there is a reward system in place. When the horse is responsive and agile, the rider rewards it with a treat. As a result, the horse associates good performance with a tasty reward. This positive reinforcement technique inspires the horse to maintain its heightened performance; it wants to be rewarded for its actions. The principles of this concept are identical to those of customer service; the effectiveness of your customer service is directly proportional to your customers’ happiness and loyalty.