Take a moment to think about a service that you have purchased and enjoyed. Maybe it is a subscription like automatic razor shipments or grocery delivery. Is there an associated technology such as a website and/or a mobile device application that enhances this service?
Perhaps you have purchased devices to enable home automaton and there is associated technology that alerts you if your garage door is open. Isn’t it great to be able to close your garage door from your phone when you are standing in line at the local coffee shop?
My Solar Dashboard
One service that I use that has associated technology is related to the solar system had installed on my home last year. Many of the system’s components are manufactured by the company SolarEdge and as part of their offering they provide an electronic dashboard. With the dashboard I can see lots of information, including:
- How much energy the system is producing at any given moment
- How much energy each individual panel has produced by day, week, month, year or all time
- Alerts generated from the system (panel or component problems for example)
I can also see environmental benefits including CO2 Emission Saved and Equivalent Trees Planted, 18,197 pounds and 459, respectively, as of today.
Even over a year later, I still regularly visit the dashboard on my computer and my phone (via the SolarEdge app) to show others the details when they are considering solar, to check production in comparison to the same month last year or to ensure there were no alerts (this was recently handy when the dashboard lost communication with my system because my router needed a reboot).
The Power of Dashboards to Build Stickiness
I share my solar dashboard story as an example of “stickiness.” I have no financial stake in SolarEdge, but I have found myself suggesting to others that they use SolarEdge components, so they have access to the great dashboard data. The company’s intelligent use of technology has built a loyalty in me.
This is a telling lesson you can emulate in your business.
At Trilix we help our clients to intelligently engage their customers through technology. A great way to do this is to utilize a dashboard as a key part of an overall engagement platform to build stickiness and loyalty with your customers. I specifically use the word “platform” because tools like the SolarEdge example are really part of a robust set of tools that deserve a better description than merely “dashboard.”
Considerations for Building a Platform for Your Customers
Great platforms meet consumers where they are with information that is useful, whether your audience is paying customers, members or employees. Here are some key thoughts and considerations for building a platform:
- Engagement: The best way to keep your consumers loyal is to provide them consistent value. That value doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or event, but rather through a platform that allows you to provide incremental and consistent value (even if it small) to keep them coming back for more.
- Make it Easier to Do Business with You: Have you ever had the feeling that a business doesn’t want your money? Maybe it is the mind-numbing wait-in-line-to-pay or a service provider that just won’t call you back. With a platform, those issues disappear, because a consumer can engage with you without any extra effort on the part of your team.
- Develop Connections: The more customers associate with your brand and the easier it is to do business with you, the more likely they will feel a “part” of it and even advocate for it. Give them that ability to connect using technology. All you need to do is check your mobile device to see what brand you feel connected to; don’t you want that for your business?
- Provide Value: Use your platform to provide value to your customer. Don’t try to jam-pack it with so many features it becomes unusable. Plan it so customers can connect and immediately extract value. You can always add more features later, but don’t try to make it everything to everyone on the first page they see. For example, if my solar dashboard had 100 charts and graphs, I wouldn’t extract any additional value; in fact, I would be less likely to use it because it would probably be more difficult to use.
- Evangelists: This is an outgrowth of making a connection, but if you engage in the right way you may even turn customers into evangelists for your company. The key way to do that is to provide them high value content; think quality, not quantity!
Creating a dashboard for your consumers is a great idea to provide them better value while increasing revenue. However, it is easier said than done!
The key to implementing it in an intelligent way is to prioritize and plan. We would love to talk to you about your wishes for a world class platform for your customers; our experience partnering with organizations to plan great experiences can help you reach your goal. When you call, make sure I tell you about my solar panels!
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