But believe it or not, even this fluffy hour of glittery costumes, hip swiveling sambas and elegant waltzes can offer some some lessons about increasing customer loyalty and building customer relationships. Here’s what I gleaned once I looked past the ruffles and satin:
1) Be yourself. On this season’s DWTS, 49-year-old Ralph Macchio doesn’t bother pretending to be young and sexy like his rapper cohort Romeo. He’s still the nerd from The Karate Kid, but the fans love seeing him wax on and wax off in his own imitable way.
When it comes to loyalty, stick to what you do best, too — and strive to do it better than than your competitors. When you are authentic with your customers and your employees, you build trust, which is a must-have when it comes to keeping your customers coming back.
2) Fundamentals are key. An exciting personality is nice, but without good technique, you’ll never win DWTS. Whether it’s the hip swivel of the samba or the steady frame of the quickstep, you have to bring the basics to win the trophy.
Tried-and-true fundamentals are essential for loyalty success, too. Building a program that works from the ground up; working to communicate in the most relevant way possible; and focusing on the best value proposition for your customers are all efforts that must be in place to take loyalty to the next level.
3) Show true appreciation for your loyal fans. Successful DWTS contestants constantly bow to the altar of fan-dom – thanking the voters and doing everything they can to encourage more votes.
For loyalty marketers, appreciation in the form of surprise-and-delight soft benefits can be a way to show true appreciation for the core customers who are at central to your loyalty strategy.
4) Commitment is essential. The audience notices right away if a DWTS contestant isn’t “committed” to the dance – whether it’s emotionally, mentally or physically. The professional dancers push their celebrities to the limit to fully embody the character and style of the dance – knowing that without that commitment, fans won’t feel connected.
Customers can also tell when a company isn’t fully committed to providing the best consumer experience possible. And when a brand truly does take their loyalty efforts seriously, customers feel that relationship and that connection.
5) Teamwork takes you to the finish line. Winning the loyalty of DWTS fans evolves from the close teamwork between the professional dancer and the celebrity partner – without it, the couple is doomed to be voted off.
Loyalty marketers have the same challenges when it comes to working with teams across the enterprise as well as motivating front-line employees.
It remains to be seen who wins Dancing With the Stars this season — there are still several weeks of brightly-colored spandex to come — but rest assured that whoever holds the mirrorball trophy aloft will have taken all five of the above principles to heart. As a successful loyalty marketer, you can also use these fundamental keys to success — and you don’t even need to dance backward in heels.