Lisa Erickson isn’t one to let people sleep on their feelings about the purchase of one of her company’s products, even if that product is a high-end, ultra-comfortable Sleep Number mattress. Since mattresses have a purchase cycle of once every eight years or so, she sees no reason in waiting for their feedback until the next time they’re in the market for a mattress.
As a result, Erickson, Sleep Number’s Senior Director of CRM and Loyalty, created a plan to engage them before they even have their mattress delivered.
A video monitor at the cash register plays information about their rewards program. They get a welcome kit with details about their mattress and how to get a better night’s sleep. The delivery drivers thank them for being an insider. Sales associates follow up with calls every 30, 60, and 90 days to see if the customer is comfortable and engaged.
“We want to build relationship in first 100 days, so we begin by sending them information before they get their mattress on how to get ready for their delivery, how to make sure they are getting their perfect sleep number and education about how to sleep,” Erickson said during her session, “Wake-up Call: Creating Long-term Brand Advocates with SleepNumber” during the 2017 Customer Expo in Nashville last week. “After 100 days, we send out a tailored email and direct mail campaigns. We push a lot of content out through the program.”
The goal, she said, is to make sure their customers understand that Sleep Number isn’t just selling them a mattress, but an entire sleep experience.
“We want to make sure people sleep the best they possibly can,” Erickson noted.
Although the campaign is only six months old, Erickson said the feedback has been very positive and, more importantly, has resulted in referrals.
“You’d be amazed how many referrals we get,” she said. “We’ve been around for 20 years and we’ve been ranked highest in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power, but we needed to evolve. We reached out to CrowdTwist and they helped us engage directly with our customers and bring it to a personal level. Now about 30 percent of our customers are engaged in the program and we get more than 1,000 digital referrals a month. That’s really important to our business because your best customers bring more best customers. The testimonials are our most powerful form of marketing and the referrals are cheapest and most effective.”
The program, she added, is a living, breathing entity and ever-changing. Company officials post blogs, news stories about sleep research, and conduct surveys and polls.
“Some of them are interesting, like, ‘Do you let your pets sleep with you?’ and others are more basic, like, ‘Would it matter to you if we were involved in a sports partnership or not?’” Erickson said.
They’re even exploring if there’s a gamification component that people might respond to—even though at Sleep Number, sleep is no game.