How brokers can augment service to build loyalty

How brokers can augment service to build loyalty

The ‘augmented product’ became a valuable addition to the marketer’s toolbox back in the 80’s, and stands the test of time.

In a largely service-oriented economy, augmented services can lead to new sales of core products, share-shifts, and more.

Examples of augmented services include:
  1. In the hotel sector: the core product is a ‘safe and clean room’, which is ultimately augmented by things that aren’t necessarily directly connected to the core service (of a bed), which can include: wifi, breakfast bars, fitness services, spas, etc.
  2. Starbucks has augmented their core product – a good cup of coffee – with services that aren’t necessarily connected to the core product – items include: music, gift cards, pre-paid cards, and lollipops
There are 4 levels to the process:
  1. Excel at core-service delivery
  2. Excel at feature delivery
  3. Upsell of aligned benefits
  4. Include aligned benefits to develop sustained cross-sell opportunity and loyalty building

 

The first two levels need to be nailed down first

There’s no point in moving forward unless the first two levels are  nailed-down:

  1. The inner/core level, in which the business delivers its core benefits with flawless execution and good, but not necessarily loyal customer satisfaction.
  2. The next level focuses on the features necessary to support the delivery of the core benefit.  Things like ‘answering the phone quickly’, ‘accurate billings’, ‘data entry’, and other block-and-tackling elements needed to deliver good-quality (but not necessarily customer ‘wowing’ quality).
Augmentations begin at level 3

Augmentations to your core service can include include:

  1. Product level branding
  2. Service/performance warranties
  3. Other services that are meaningful to the customer, but are not necessarily directly connected to the core product.

 

The big wins come at Level 4

Significant opportunity for sustained growth can be realized by providing aligned services to augment your core service:

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Integrate a Roadside Assistance platform into the sale of every car insurance policy
  2. Integrate a thematically-aligned Consumer Savings platform into the sale of every policy, to communicate your understanding of your customer’s needs, and desire to act as a partner in not just protecting their losses, but protecting the household budgets
  3. Integrate a consumer-centric ‘ticketing’ service, much like CAA’s outlets that provide discounts on entry fees to Disney, theatre tickets, and more.
  4. Integrate a direct-to-consumer total-budget savings program (this is where Simone Group can help).
  5. Provide financial planning and estate planning services to your CU Members

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