4 March 2019
Every business is different. Successful organisations are strategic thinkers, using Intel collated over months and years of experience to inform clever marketing campaigns and maintain a positive customer experience across channels.
With so many technologies continuing to adapt and evolve (for example, new forms of social media and voice technology) – we need to keep thinking aloud, sharing ideas – pushing towards products, services and features that run in tandem with evolving customer preferences. In addition, we need to pay attention to what competitors in our relative industry are doing, so that we are out-delivering them (or at the very least keeping up).
“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
– Steve Jobs
But how do you measure the success of your brand, and ensure that your brand really does have a continuous and meaningful impact on your market?
Show me the money
Your business will ‘feel’ the overall impact of your brand through the successes in profit, new customers, repeat business and general ticking-along of operations.
But is this measure going to be enough in the long term? How can you ensure that success is sustainable?
Net Promoter Score
In a previous post we discussed how valuable the NPS score as a customer satisfaction metric. You can read the article here. In many ways, such a metric is a useful determinant to gauge how a brand is perceived by customers overall. Asking the likelihood that customers would be willing recommend a particular brand to a friend of colleague is a helpful indication of customer loyalty and brand advocacy.
Achieving a score that is positive is actually good! A score of 50+ is excellent. Reach a score above 70, and your brand has a tonne of advocates and is considered ‘world class’.
But the NPS highlights something more general that B2B businesses need to be doing – and that is asking their customer base for feedback. Actively analysing customer satisfaction is always a step in the right direction.
Survey, evaluation, feedback
Is this something your organisation actively does?
In the B2B environment, losing a customer can have a very significant impact on business. Depending on the size and scale of your organisation, there are a variety of ways to approach customer feedback.
Easiest and most common is an online customer survey. This can be created and administered in-house with relative ease using tools such as Survey Monkey, which amongst other pricing plans allows use via a free account.
Questions can be tailored to ask about important stages within the customer journey. Software then allows for an analysis of responses to highlight areas where improvement is needed.
One of the barriers to the online survey is much of the overall feedback is determined by the number of responses from customers. It can be difficult to encourage people to participate, so oftentimes an incentive or reward is needed.
If not online, then asking a simple question over the phone about the customer experience could be the answer. This allows for more qualitative information and the chance to discuss in real time any ways that the business can combat dissatisfaction of the customer (if it exists).
The key is to LISTEN to your customer audience and find out what is driving them to make purchases and what might be detracting from the overall experience. Qualitative information here is also extremely important.
People are influenced by social proof. When was the last time someone on your team ‘checked in’ with what the commentary is online? Social media analysis tools can be used to determine negative feedback as well as positive. Some of these can be calculated as ‘unfollows’ or ‘down-votes’.
But that is one way. It’s important that marketing and management teams take the time to ‘read’ what people are saying. There are a number of negative comments and reviews that remain online, unaddressed. And while the mantra may be not to engage the ‘lower hanging fruit’ using the ToV of your organisation to collate these views, addressing them either directly or via carefully curated content or messaging can go a long way to changing the narrative to one that is more positive.
For example, if there is much negative commentary about a product that seems to be more expensive than other’s in the market or one that has existed previously, your content team can explain the design/manufacturing process and highlight the new technology features or some insights behind the product’s manufacture that can help to alleviate any perception of overpricing.
There are many ways to build trust and reinforce your brand, and much of this can come from listening to what people are saying about your brand from both the positive, negative and neutral sides. Sometimes B2B organisations can be too close to their own brands, it’s important to listen to all of the voices in your market.
Reviews are much clearer and often louder indications of satisfaction. With trends clearly indicating that reviews and social votes have power in the buyers’ journey, it’s important to try everything within reason to address negative reviews and resolve any online disputes
In the same way, positive social engagement, shares, reviews and feelings that are expressed online are an excellent indication that your brand is moving forward with positive momentum.
Overall – listening to what your customers say about what they want or don’t want can make all the difference in both the short and long terms.