It’s never too late to update your marketing strategy to make your company more customer-centric. Here are some easy ways to help you succeed.
Good customer service never goes out of fashion. Customer service is king when it comes to finding (and keeping) clients. Whether customers come through your door in person or online, being customer-centric and listening to feedback about your products and services can help you grow your business in the future.
When companies ignore their customers, their customers will start to ignore them.
Recording customer feedback data should not be an optional part of your marketing strategy. Customer feedback can help guide strategic decisions, product development and company growth.
The old adage that the ‘customer is always right’ remains true. Customers are very good at gauging whether businesses care about them. Customers who aren’t satisfied know they have the power to take their business – and their money –elsewhere. This cannot only affect repeat business from individual customers, but also your reputation in the form of bad word of mouth reviews online and in person. Some 83% of respondents to one survey said recommendations from family and friends were the most reliable form of advertising.
Word of mouth can build a brand – or break it. Corporate empires like Starbucks and Red Bull have been built off the back of word of mouth advertising. They are also companies that involve their customers in their business journeys, making them feel part of the company’s DNA through storytelling and inclusive marketing.
Whether it’s encouraging community engagement in fair-trade coffee initiatives or attending a Red Bull-sponsored event with friends, these companies weave the lifestyles and stories of their customers into their own business evolution.
However a poorly executed strategy can also go spectacularly wrong, as Hyundai found when word of mouth feedback forced the company to withdraw a controversial suicide-themed advertisement.
Thinking ahead and putting the customer first – what would they think? how would they feel? – is key.
Putting customers first – traps to avoid
Many companies that fail to care properly for their customers haven’t modernized their marketing in line with their customer preferences. These companies may not be using the latest research or technology to grow and evolve their business marketing model.
They may be too brand-centric and not customer-centric enough. They focus too much on the enterprise and their image, rather than on the individual customer. These companies sometimes fall into the trap of hiding behind former glories and their traditional brand strength. They forget to analyze the way in which their customer satisfaction levels or their customer relationships are changing.
Customer feedback and engagement is more important than ever in the digital age, with a decline in brand loyalty affecting repeat sales. Staying on top of customer preferences and trends can help to combat the degree to which brand loyalty has been fading.
The solution is to ensure you’re moving with the times and staying robust so you can capitalize on changing markets and customer trends. Using more dynamic forms of over traditional long-form surveys is one way to modernize your customer-based market research.
Finding the right balance can be tricky. Pinpointing the changing dynamics of the marketplace and learning to understand the role that emotions play in driving purchasing decisions is key. For example, tapping into your emotional intelligence can help both business-to-business and customer sales.
Customer-centric tips to help you care for your customers
It’s never too late to update your marketing strategy to make your company more customer-centric. Here are some easy ways to help you get to know your customers.
- Ask the right questions in the right format: Establish a strategy based on listening and customer dialogue. Ask customers the right questions to gauge the best feedback about their experiences with your products and services. This is closely linked to choosing the type of customer survey that’s best suited to your business. If you’re planning on asking your customers, for example, to name five of your competitors, then first ask yourself WHY you are asking this question. Will it in any way provide you with data to improve your own products or the services you are offering? Using a system like Emolytics that provides a variety of multi-channel options can help you secure both qualitative and quantitative data. Both are essential because you need to merge qualitative and quantitative to get the “why” behind the “what”. Customer surveys are not marketing tools that are ‘nice to have’. They should be prioritized and given the developmental attention they require.
- Ask the right questions at the right time: Companies always have a growing list of priorities – whether it’s a new website or a new marketing campaign to launch. Unfortunately, management sometimes forgets about their customers, and this can lead to problems. For example, at Emolytics we’ve had companies use our surveys to discover that the website they spent months creating for new customers was actually used most by existing customers. Others discovered their target audience was much younger than they thought, or that the goal of their customers’ visits was completely different to the one the website was designed to accommodate. In these examples, marketing budgets were wasted because the company didn’t do their research upfront. They lost track of their major asset: the knowledge of their customers. Our Emoscore can help you identify these problems before they arise.
- Keep your market research customer-centric rather than company-centric. Many companies fall into the trap of basing questionnaires on the company rather than on the customers, and this can reduce response rates and erode the quality of the data you collect. If you are asking customers to rate your product on a scale of 0 to 10, and they choose 9, don’t ask why they didn’t choose 10. Instead, ask a more targeted question such as “what could we improve for you to turn your 9 into a 10?” This keeps the questions customer-centric rather than company-centric.
- Analyze the feedback you receive. Read the results and listen to the feedback your customers have taken the time to provide. Don’t be like Kodak and become disconnected from your customer base. Emolytics can help you to understanding your customers, their emotions and their experiences. The unique Emoscore KPI can pinpoint customer feedback and help you analyze it so you can improve your business model, including your customer experience. Some companies struggle with understanding the metrics – they either lack quality data or they don’t trust or understand the data they do have. Emolytics can provide quality data in digestible formats to help you find what you need to know faster and more accurately.
- Act on the feedback to implement effective business strategies. Adapt your business through continuous feedback. Customers’ needs and wants evolve over time; make them part of your business’ evolving story.
- Work on customer value rather than just brand value. Try and develop a relationship with your customers over time to boost their lifetime value to your company. Make your customers feel as proud of your success as you do (and reward them for it through loyalty or other incentives). Keeping existing customers happy is cheaper, after all, than having to constantly recruit new customers via brand awareness.
Start working on your customer care today
Find out more about how you can start using Emolytics to get to know your customers and boost the levels of customer satisfaction your business delivers. Get in touch for a free consultation with our digital experts today.
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It’s never too late to update your marketing strategy to make your company more...