The pandemic changed our lives. It also changed our perspectives. It’s given us new language for old things that may have gone unnoticed. Or is that old language for new things.
One of these words is languishing.
In April, the NY Times published a great article on languishing There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing
It’s a mental wellness term that describes that lingering place between clinical depression and flourishing in good mental health. A place where we have a sense of stagnation and numbness. Sometimes hard to recognize and hard to shift out of because it’s not an acute problem.
I’m not going to get into the mental wellness aspects here. Instead, I want to use it as a metaphor for what happens when our engagement with existing customers stalls. (If you want to go further on the wellness side, I recommend the article)
It’s a good word to use for what can happen in the customer journey. Where a customer hasn’t fully left us, but customer engagement has really dropped off. The customer relationship can languish.
If you want a thriving flourishing customer list, you need to identify these ruts. Then do something deliberate about it. Figure out which customer relationships are languishing. Take action on re-engagement campaigns.
You can try some of the same recommendations that also help to get out of mental ruts. Seek out the new and creative. Try a doable challenge. Take action – sometimes any action. Take a break.
Typically, re-engagement campaigns include things like surveys, offering deals or discounts, and even point-blank inviting people to stay or leave your list. These are all good methods with clear calls to action.
At the same time, I think we can also brainstorm more creative ways to breathe life into the relationship. We don’t want to just wake up our customer with a deal and then have them go back to sleep for another six months. I think we need to add some challenge into it. And be a bit more creative in the process.
Possibly instead of simply offering a discount, offer it with a condition they refer a friend first. Instead of a survey, ask them to share their answer to a question on a social platform. Instead of asking them to stay or leave your list – ask them to set preferences for completely new topic areas.
While our goal is often to create frictionless customer experiences – sometimes a little friction can help us get out of a languishing rut.
Your customer may just surprise you!
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