How to Nail Customer Obsession with Customer Feedback
So, you have an idea that you believe people will benefit from. Great! But how can you be sure? Let's explore how customer obsession drives successful strategies, essentially leading to higher customer loyalty, retention and ROI.
Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, attributes Amazon's success to customer obsession. They strive to prioritise the customers' needs above all else and put the customer at the heart of everything they do. Bezos says "It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better. If your customer base is ageing with you, then eventually you are going to become obsolete or irrelevant. You need to be constantly figuring out who your new customers are and what you're doing to stay forever young."
Unfortunately, it's estimated that 20% of new small businesses in Australia will fail in their first year, and up to 60% of startups will not survive beyond five years of launching. Customers have the power to make or break your business and organisations need to start leading with customer-led product strategies to survive. Customer obsession focuses on creating amazing experiences for customers which in turn enhances customer loyalty, promotes word of mouth referrals and invites others to trust in your business. As Bezos puts it, "if you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful." And, we've seen Amazon do this time and time again.
How do we nail this? Through constant, proactive, customer feedback. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain, the rest churn. 66% of customers who switch brands do so because of poor service. Therefore, it's critical to be constantly speaking with customers, taking this data and feeding it back into your product strategy.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it's easier said than done. Many businesses believe they are succeeding in customer obsession, but how are they approaching it? It's human nature to add your own perspectives and many people go straight into solution mode without truly knowing the problem at hand.
Henry Ford once said "If I had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said faster horses" (we know it's hotly debated as to whether he even said this, but the example helps to prove our point). Don't simply ask your customers what they want, observe them at work. You'll discover things like the length of time it takes them to pay for online purchases, where the mouse goes on screen, or whether they need to read instructions. All of this information is vital to really listening and understanding your customers.
The more people you observe, the more you'll see similarities in the way they work and learn what is a common problem for your target market. This data helps you to prioritise your customer-led product strategy. Only through understanding and prioritising the customers' needs, will you start to develop a solution that works for them - an amazing customer experience - which ultimately improves satisfaction and retention. WooHoo! And it never stops! The continuous cycle of listening and improving your product is the optimum way to accelerate the best experience - and make your customers happy.
At Instant, we're customer-obsessed - and we understand the above approach isn't always possible. So, we round it out with other forms of feedback. Let's explore the different ways you can obtain this data:
Surveys: these can look very different depending on your business model. As consumer-based products, we find the below measures effective:
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a great measurement of customer loyalty. You will have seen the question; "On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or colleague?" This information provides a score of yoru brand. When followed with an open-ended question "Tell us why you gave this score", it helps to provide a complete picture and allows you to really hone in on the customers' experience.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) uses a Likert rating scale of 1-5 to get a sense of whether you're meeting customer expectations. E.g: "How satisfied were you with your checkout experience today?" It's only one question and doesn't require the respondent to think too much and therefore, can often achieve a higher response rate. As mentioned above, it's best to complete the feedback by asking for more info on why the score was given.
Customer Effort Score (CES) instead of asking customers how happy they are, it measures the effort the customer went to in order to achieve the optimal outcome. It's a scale ranging form highly agree to highly disagree, and you ask your customers to vote. e.g. "It was easy for me to checkout" or "It was easy for me to find the items I'd left in my cart". These answers help you understand your user experience.
Emails: a straight-forward solution you can easily build into your customer journey. It's important to ask for feedback at the same touchpoint so that you have a holistic view of the user experience. E.g. In a purchase confirmation e-mail, you can ask customers to respond and tell you how easy they found the checkout experience. Or, e-mail new customers one day after their purchase to share their thoughts. Another tip we find is that we get a higher response rate when the e-mail is sent fro a person rather than a team or business with 72% of consumers saying they only engage with personalised messaging.
Interviews: these can be 1:1 or in the form of a focus group. They're a great way of getting a glimpse into the customers' experience, particularly when you get to observe the non-verbal cues. It's important to allow the respondent to finish what they're saying, don't offer suggested answers (as this can be leading the response_ and allows you to delve deeper into a response that you may not be able to ascertain from the above methods.
Social Channels: these are a popular way to reach your customers in their space. People are more likely to provide honest, raw information, meaning you often receive emotional responses as they're likely to provide it straight after their experience. It's important to provide a space for this type of feedback to understand your customer sentiment and it gives your business a good opportunity to respond knowing others will be able to see it. This is where your brand can truly shine and you can showcase how customer-obsessed you truly are. 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their complaints.
Capturing our customers’ feedback on their experience is a priority for us here at Instant. We’ve been able to make the checkout process 4 x faster than the average flow, working towards our goal of frictionless experiences anywhere, and everywhere. Based on the info we received, we enhanced our care at the the point of checkout, with the 5 minute countdown allowing buyers to edit or cancel orders, along with order batching so users are able to purchase Instantly, at no additional cost.
We're constantly learning from our customers and we assume nothing. We've found that when a business is able to measure their customer obsession, they're on the right track to building great products that enhance the lives of their customers. Now, let's go build something amazing!