Part III: Are you involving your customer from the get-go?
This article is the third of a series of three articles.
The first is published here: https://www.claritergroup.com/measuring-customer-engagement-and-customer-experience/ and the second is published here: https://www.claritergroup.com/customer-centric-future-without-customer-involvement-part-2/
In the last article, we discussed the Co-design approach and how it is possible to involve users, customers, relevant stakeholders, and businesses to get the best result in all the processes of a project. A question remains: if companies want to genuinely involve their customers, how can they interact directly with the real end-users and get their feedback?
Customers’ feedback is extremely valuable; knowing what is on your customers’ minds gives insights for the creation of the best Experiences possible. Listening to customer feedback is relevant to adjust how your business satisfies customers’ needs more successfully. While Customers are clear about what they want, other methods like educated guesses or hypothesis testing might not be as efficient.
There is no doubt that businesses understand that involving their customers in innovation helps them to learn which new products and services will be successful. For instance, many Startups are already involving customers in the process of developing new businesses or products, to early model the chances of positive market acceptance.
We can refer to the Lean Startup philosophy, where the goal is developing services and products at shorter product development cycles, and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable or not. This is achieved by adopting a combination of business hypothesis-oriented experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning and evolution. The core component of the Lean Startup approach is the feedback loop. This becomes very important as listening, learning, improving, testing, and asking for feedback again, creates a virtuous loop where meeting Customer expectations is the ultimate target.
“The Lean Startup provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups and get a desired product to customers’ hands faster. The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup – how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere – and grow a business with maximum acceleration. It is a principled approach to new product development.” – Eric Ries.
Getting business feedback refers to the process of acquiring a customer’s opinion about a company, product, or service. The best way to push a brand is undoubtedly by listening to customers.
Listening to customers and collecting their feedback makes us better understand their needs, improve the products, engage them, get testimonials, reviews, recommendations, benchmark it, and grow as a brand. This is one main reason why Customer Experience and Customer Engagement is so important: a customer review that spreads and goes viral can promote or ruin a business.
We all acknowledge the importance of customer feedback but there are too many different methods to collect them: Survey responses, Social and Marketplaces Reviews collection, User Experience testing, Focus groups, Customer Call, Customer Support Chat conversations, amongst others.
One of the most effective methods to get customer feedback is the customer feedback survey. Customer surveys identify customers’ level of satisfaction with an existing product. It is also a channel for clients to express their opinions, share insights, and give voice to their expectations, for products and services. By being proactive and effectively listening to their inputs, testing them, and running that virtuous loop, the business will significantly improve in the long run. It will ultimately also contribute to the overall reputation and visibility.
We have already seen that the involvement of the customer from end to end brings many benefits to a company or a brand and that listening and collecting Customer feedback can lead to an excellent Customer Experience and Customer Engagement. That is what a Customer-Centric mindset should include.
Customer-Centric Future will only happen if in the present we involve the Customers in designing the journey. The companies able to create methodologies that are customer inclusive will have the highest rate of success to deliver what will delight the users, capable of creating and maintaining solid lasting relationships with customers, leading to business growth and success.
With all that said, it is time you ask yourself:
Am I really involving my Customers?