Customer feedback is not about numbers; it’s about delivering great customer experiences. Empowering each frontline staff member to deliver great experiences is the best way to differentiate your brand in a challenging economy. Consumers remain cautious and selective about where they spend their money, so exceeding their expectations is more important for brand success than ever.
Great customer experiences can drive active advocacy. In fact, 69% of consumers are willing to share great experiences with their friends and family. The best CEM programmes capture the unique ‘essence’ of your brand and help operators to understand why their customers become advocates and how to harness the power of recommendations.
Let’s start at the very beginning. You need to gain a deep understanding of what a great experience looks and more importantly feels like for your customers. What drives people to your brand? What causes them to be loyal and become advocates? What experiences will they share with friends and family?
But which questions are going to give you the customer insight you need to make your brand stand out from the competition? Customer engagement is an over-used phrase but you do need to connect with your customers at an emotional level to understand what really makes them tick. There’s a world of difference between asking whether a store appeared clean and whether the customer felt it to be welcoming and inviting. The right questions should always be personal to both your brand and your customers.
So, once you’ve gained insight into what your customers really feel and want, how are you going to harness this knowledge to give your brand a competitive advantage? It’s easy to try to be the best at everything – but unfortunately, this isn’t usually an achievable goal. You need to focus on your own brand strengths and exploit competitors’ weaknesses.
Let’s take a fast food restaurant example. Restaurant A may score highly on factors such as menu variety, speed of service and price. But Restaurant B could tap into the market opportunity to produce high-quality food delivered with exceptional service in an extremely welcoming environment. The food may be a little more pricey and it may take longer to prepare – but most customers appreciate that you generally get what you pay for. As the saying goes, all good things come to he who waits.
It’s only by asking the right questions that you can gain valuable insight into what real customers think and feel about your brand, giving you the knowledge you need to help your brand succeed. The best CEM programmes help brands to stay ahead of the competition by empowering them to turn research into experiential reality.