What drives loyalty and advocacy in your business?
Almost every major company now conducts sophisticated customer research and analysis. And with good reason: it’s imperative that we all have the right customer insight in order to provide the right product or service to meet their needs.
The irony is that by relying too much on this kind of approach, we can actually distance ourselves from customers. Somuch traditional research relies on the use of surveys, interviews and focusgroups rather than real-life observation. These methods collect rational viewsabout what customers think, and sometimes how they feel, about their experience. But customers are rarely able to articulate creative ideas for making the experience better.
The power of instinct
In our own work with successful business leaders, we consistently find that most of the new and innovative business ideas come from entrepreneurs who operate more from their own observations and insights rather than analytical research; they are so tuned in to observing, engaging and empathising with their customers, that they instinctively know what would turn an average experience into a great experience.
That’s not to say that these brands don’t value traditional research. They do. But they also understand that to rely on research alone not only slows down your ability to act quickly, it also impedes your ability to act innovatively.
At smith+co, we have a simple approach to customer insight: It starts with being absolutely clear who your most profitable customers are - these are the ones you want to retain and find more of. Understanding why a customer is valuable to you and what they expect will become a key capability in your business.
Second - determine their top expectations
A key component of a branded customer experience is being differentiated in a way that is valuable to target customers. It is all very well, knowing who your most profitable customers are, but you also need to know what they value and the three or four most important attributes that drive attraction, retention and referral. Without these answers, you may have customer data, but you don’t have customer insight
Third – determine the value drivers
Correlate the results with intention ‘to return’ or ‘recommend’ to form a core set of value drivers. These will be the basis of your brand promise. We typically identify between three to six value drivers and these become the foundation for defining your customer promise.
Fourth - create an expectation map
Cluster customer expectations so that you can quickly identify what is important at each touch-point with your brand. This will help with your experience design. For an example of mapping, take a look at our customer insight guide ‘What Drives customer loyalty’
For more about gaining insight to your customers, see our customer experience survey
What is a Brand Promise?
Customer Experience Design