The leaky bucket theory has been a widely used analogy within the business world for as long as most of us can remember. It describes the marketing challenge organisations face in determining the proportion of their marketing spend focused upon new customer acquisition, versus the retention of those valuable customers’.
Over the last decade, there’s been a real shift from organisations encouraging a sales-centric culture, to the more forward-thinking companies recognising that adopting more customer-centric principles could pay huge dividends. To give that point some substance, a sales-focused organisation is focused on two objectives – meeting sales numbers and increasing market share. These two objectives take priority over any other consideration (think ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’). What we’re now seeing is successful business Leaders adopting a customer-centric culture, inspired by people like Simon Sinek or the late Steve Jobs, who famously said “you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back towards the technology – not the other way around”.
According to research issued by Deloitte, organisations that are customer-centric are 60% more profitable than those who are not. Customer centricity is defined as having the end-user as the focus for every business decision and at the heart of everything you do.
But how do you keep your customers’ happy? How do you even know what your customers’ like or dislike about your product or service? You need to ask them, that’s how.
Customers’ want to feel involved in more than just purchases; they want to know the companies they’re buying from. They want understanding and empathy. They want recognition and gratitude. They want to be seen as more than just buyers’ or revenue generators. By asking them, you go some way to achieving this.
But this isn’t a one-way street – organisations that gain customer feedback and go beyond paying lip-service to dissatisfied customers’ gain a huge competitive advantage over the competition by using customer feedback to shape their product or service.
And it doesn’t just stop here. There are countless benefits to be gained from encouraging ALL feedback; the good, the bad and the damn right ugly.
The implementation of a robust system for customer feedback analysis and action needs to be consolidated and driven centrally, otherwise, the output is never seen at the right level, or in the right area of the business to drive change. To create an effective feedback process, all feedback must be consolidated against the customer lifecycle. Each department involved in the customer life-cycle can then use customer feedback for continuous improvement purposes.
More Customers (new and repeat)
The purpose of an organisation is to create a customer, who, in turn, creates more customers’. By asking for feedback, you’re communicating that you value their opinion. Don’t under-estimate the huge part emotion plays in a consumers’ decision making. For the most part, if you deliver a positive experience, in-line with customer expectations, you’re likely to receive a positive reaction. Fantastic feedback often results in potential recommendations – everybody’s happy! Missing the mark and letting customers’ down can create feelings of disappointment, disrespect and, sometimes, anger. Getting the customer ‘experience’ right from start to finish and beyond has become the differentiating factor for many successful business models as it significantly increases the opportunity for consumer re-purchase and loyalty and negates the risk of negative word of mouth.
Improved employee morale
Of course, sharing good customer feedback can have a hugely positive effect on employee morale. All employees’ worth their salt want to hear that their contribution is making a difference to their Employers reputation and, ultimately, indirectly or directly, the bottom line. That said, negative feedback can also affect morale in a positive way if used in the right way. It’s important for Employees’ to have a sense of purpose so they have a goal to work towards. If negative feedback is received then turned into an actionable objective and given to an employee that desires an opportunity to make a difference, this will allow moral to be affected in a positive way.
We live in a world where online reputation can either make or break you. It’s an organisation’s strongest asset, or its biggest liability. When feedback is received, acknowledged, acted upon and fed back to the customer, it can enhance and, in some cases, cement, relationships. It’s no secret that repeat customers’ spend more money; they’re easier to sell to, they promote business and can become brand ambassadors that don’t cost the Marketing team a penny.
Whilst the benefits above are significant, the list is by no means exhaustive. Improved brand reputation and awareness, opportunities for cross/upselling and improved tender conversion are all benefits reaped from simply listening to customers.
Now we’ve looked at what can be achieved from encouraging feedback, it’s important to touch on how best to obtain such feedback and, we feel one of the most effective way is by using video.