Friday HighlightJun 21 2019

Tips for putting customers at the forefront of marketing

Search sponsored by
Tips for putting customers at the forefront of marketing
ByMark Pearson

At a recent event, delegates were asked how often they undertook customer insight initiatives, whether for new proposition development, customer satisfaction tracking or market trends.

A shocking theme came to light that most had not done any research in more than a year.

If customers are at the heart of your business, then the research team are surely pivotal.

This is particularly the case when it comes to driving and advising the business on customer experience, identifying customer needs, informing new product development, segmentation and understanding consumer behaviour.

A customer-focused approach leads to higher retention and cross sales opportunities - and is something which is tricky for your competitors to replicate.

Too often, money is spent on focus groups and surveys but little action is generated.

A proactive insights team, rather than one that operates as a support service to your business, will drive change and keep it customer centric and innovative. Businesses that have the insights team front and centre deliver value propositions that foster repeat business.

Successful businesses are built on a robust foundation of data (customer, product use, research and contextual), to drive superior decisions, experiences and propositions.  

What are the pitfalls?

Business issues: Not understanding your customers’ needs leads to a lack of loyalty, extended time to resolve complaints and dissatisfaction, as well as high marketing costs to acquire new customers.

Flawed decision making: Propositions designed internally but never tested. The “we know best syndrome” invariably leads to creating a product or service that fails to connect,and costs time and money.

Actionable insight: Insight is about a proactive approach to understanding your markets and customers. Too often, money is spent on focus groups and surveys but little action is generated, or research ignored if it does not give the desired answer.

Some real examples of insights:

● A customer scoring nine or 10 in satisfaction is three times more likely to return. A customer scoring eight, however, behaves very differently and is significantly less likely to buy again.

● Where more time was spent coaching service teams who, in turn, spent more time talking to customers, there was an uplift in sales of more than 25 per cent when customer feedback was played back to the team daily.

● Customers wanting a transparent cash Isa with a clear rate, loyalty bonus and easy one-click transfer application to an investment Isa resulted in rapid uptake of the product in a very commoditised market, with over 2,000 accounts opened in a matter of days.

To set up a customer centric organisation you need the following basics: