Passionate customers tell you what makes your brand exceptional
Often, customer experience research focuses too heavily on business shortcomings. Managers want to know when customers are dissatisfied, what caused their dissatisfaction, and how to fix the problem. As a result, decision makers overlook positive customer feedback. Managers expect positive feedback, and when it’s received, they don’t celebrate the occasion. Instead, managers continue to search for shortcomings in their businesses – they don’t want to be complacent, even if their customers are happy. However, this oversight misses an opportunity: a chance to understand what drives customer passion and excitement.
Word-of-mouth advocacy is a powerful driver of new business, and positive customer testimonials received during customer experience research help highlight the topics brand advocates are most likely to talk about with friends and family. To maximize the value of this feedback, businesses should ask customers the following questions about their experiences:
- How does our service/product/interaction make you feel? When a customer describes a positive experience, asking them about their feelings helps businesses understand the type of value their services bring. Are customers relieved? Excited? Do they feel in-control? Understanding the specific emotions they feel helps businesses understand why a service/product/interaction is important, and what emotions are driving the customer’s behavior.
- How is our business different from others? When it comes to positive customer experiences, unique positive experiences are true brand differentiators. Identifying those unique positive experiences allows businesses to replicate that experiences across their customer base. Once the experience is consistent, that unique positive experience is a brand differentiator, which can be used to solicit new customers.
- How does our business make a difference in your life, even if it is small? Asking customers to relate a business’s services to their lives helps communicate those services in the customers’ language. For example, customers might not care about the UX testing, which guided development of a bank’s mobile app; but they DO care that the app is easy to use and saves them time. Managers and directors are prone to talk about the services they provide in their own terms – from the behind-the-scenes perspective, talking about the nuanced details of the services they provide. Conversely, customer feedback vocalizes positive experiences in ways mangers struggle to verbalize, and their feedback provides a template for how managers should talk about the services they provide.
Beyond the benefits of analyzing positive customer feedback, the process provides a venue to build morale among employees and recognize their hard work. By addressing positive feedback, employees are incentivized to continue (and increase) positive behaviors, which lead to positive customer experiences, because they know their good deeds are noticed and valued.
In 2017 and beyond, managers continue to look at positive customer experiences to identify, replicate and reinforce aspects of their businesses leading to positive feedback. Once reinforced, branding/marketing managers use these competitive advantages to drive new business, while customers drive business on their own through brand advocacy.
Responding to negative customer feedback is important, but most organizations already do a good job at identifying their own shortcomings. Many managers overlook positive feedback at their own detriment, and those who utilize feedback to create a model for consistent positive experiences will come out on top.