Please enter your username or the email address associated with the account so we can help you reset your password.
It happens all the time. Someone asks you a question and you can tell they’re not really listening to your answer. Instead they’re waiting for a chance to turn the conversation back to their thing, whatever it is. They’re completely in their own head—how can this person help me get what I need?—and not at all interested in you.
Brands can be guilty of this behavior, too. Focusing too much on product promotions or next best offer can lead to a myopic view of the consumer-brand relationship. And being nearsighted is a quick way to lose sight of your most loyal customers. The way to keep them? First, listen carefully, and then act on what you learn. Here are three ways the best brands show customers that they’re listening – and in turn, win the hearts of their customers.
Today’s customers expect to have an active voice in the design and delivery of their favorite brands, whether through loyalty program benefits, community impact, or next generation services or products.
It’s important to cast a wide net to collect feedback from as many members (and non-members) as possible. While it may be tempting to lean on your most loyal members for feedback, you should also ask questions of your less frequent members and even those who complain loudly. Approach them with an open mind and listen to what they have to say.
In addition to the people you poll, the questions you ask should be broad. Don’t be too focused on a specific interaction. Ask them what they care about, who else they shop with, the types of brands they like, etc. The way you craft your questions tells your customers how much you care about their holistic experience, and a customer-obsessed set of questions signals that you intend to be a good listener.
The feedback you collect is only as good as your ability to act on it. And exceptional brands take a holistic view of customers and their experiences—even those that seemingly have nothing to do with your brand.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
Hilton demonstrates their commitment to this principle by mining customer feedback to find pain points and customer needs that span the entirety of customers’ travel journey, and even other parts of their lives. The result? A partnership with Lyft, which not only provides hotel guests a seamless way of getting to and from Hilton properties, but also offers an opportunity for less frequent travelers to take advantage of the Hilton Honors program. Similarly, Hilton has expanded its partner network to include Live Nation, Amazon, and American Express to engage more members (they just surpassed 100 million members!), more often, and deliver more value.
All good listening comes from a place of empathy. When brands take the time to make an authentic emotional connection with their customers—which can only happen when they’re paying attention to what their customers want and need—customers feel it. Think about the feeling you get when the hotel staff hands you a warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in, or when you earn points at DSW for donating your gently used shoes.
– Emily Collins, principal analyst, Forrester Research on our recent webinar
It’s those feelings that drive loyalty: In “The US Customer Experience Index, 2019,” Forrester Research reports that, in multi-channel retail, among customers who feel valued, 90% plan to stay with the brand, 87% plan to increase their spending with the brand, and 90% will advocate on behalf of the brand.
Brands with cult followings have figured out how to create the perfect emotional experience at the perfect time for their customers, again and again. Take Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, for example. Beyond its points structure, the company builds relationships through its Beauty Insider community, where members can join groups, follow topics, and connect with one another to share advice, beauty inspiration, and product reviews. They also offer members personalized experiences, like custom makeovers, community meetups, and exclusive member events. As a result, Sephora engages new and seasoned Beauty Insiders alike in trying new items and continuing to purchase their tried and true products.
View Original Article