Are You Having Omnichannel Dialogues with Your Customers?

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Oct, 14, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

omnichannel dialogue









Thanks to Swati Sinha of SAP and Kevin Poe of Experian for a thought-provoking presentation on "How Marketing Can Power Engagement: Using Analytics to Deepen Customer Relationships."


With more social media channels and apps, there's that much more opportunity to have a dialogue with customers and prospects.


Social media use has increased by 76% over the past year.


This has resulted in more personalized social interactions, as well as the expectation of instant gratification across channels.


It also generates real-time consumer insights in you listen intensely and interact with customers in-person or online.


We also have a real-time view of the customer which gives us information about:


  1. Consumer history -- purchases, engagement, channels for both.

  2. Future behavior -- able to predict lifetime value of the customer.

  3. Current context -- time, location, activities and emotions of the consumer.

  4. Identity -- attributes, public data, likes, interests, memberships, ownership, segments.

In order to have this information, you must be prepared to collect data from mobile devices, social media channels, websites, third-party sources and sensors and integrate into your CRM.


Doing so will enable you to create more engaging, richer customer experiences which will give you great opportunity to connect with prospects and customers one-on-one and provide them with instant gratification and "wow" customer experiences.


Creating a more responsive enterprise will enable you to:


  1. Create and shape demand in real-time.

  2. Rapidly match supply to a changing market.

  3. Deliver new products and business models more quickly.


Doing so will:


  1. Increase loyalty.

  2. Increase performance.

  3. Increase speanding.

  4. Increase customers.


However, a total reliance on data, technology and marketing automation can cause you to have a false sense of knowledge.


It's still about people and regardless of how much data you have about a person, you still need to have a dialogue with that person to really know what the person is thinking and what's driving their actions.


According to Forrester, 80% of companies believe they're delivering a good customer experience; however, only 8% of customers, from the same companies believe they are receiving a good customer experience.


Here are the four disconnects:


  1. Failure to have a dialogue with the customer to learn what they're really thinking.

  2. Lack of channel integration. Failure to provide an omnichannel experience.

  3. An internal view of the customer experience. Companies assume they know what the customer experience is without talking to customers to verify their assumptions.

  4. Unclear ownership of, or emphasis on, improving the customer experience.


Here are the five steps to take to close the gap between what companies, and their customers think:


  1. Customer data -- have an omnichannel, 360-degree view of the customer.

  2. Customer satisfaction surveys -- I prefer Net Promoter Score to ensure you know if the customer is sufficiently pleased with the experience you are providing to recommend your product or service to their family, friends or colleagues.

  3. Customer experience testing program.

  4. Predictive modeling with customer experience satisfaction results.

  5. Measurement of the impact of your customer satisfaction and customer experience initiatives.


Are you using all of the channels available to have a dialogue with your customers?


Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales


Tags: dialogue, customer experience, consumer insights accelerate sales, listen intensely, omnichannel marketing and customer service

Use Voice of the Customer to Accelerate Sales and Improve #CX

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Oct, 13, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

voice of the customer









Great presentation by Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian of Forrester entitled, "The State of VOC -- It's Time To Act."


How do your customers perceive the interactions they have with your company?


Do you know?


Have you asked them?


A customer's perception is their reality.


Emotion is the biggest driver of loyalty.


Do your customers have an emotional connection to you or your brand?


If you don't know the answers to these questions, you need a more disciplined approach to measuring the customer experience.


Here are the four steps to take:


  1. Repair -- identify problems that need to be fixed.

  2. Elevate -- make the people responsible for the problem responsible for fixing the problem. Hold them accountable. Document and report the results.

  3. Optimize -- learn what you are doing that pleases your customers and identify ways to continue to do more of those things.

  4. Differentiate -- understand what makes you "different and better" than your competition, in your customers' eyes, and continue to build on that positive differentiation.

Having an active voice of the customer (VOC) program lets your customers know you are interested in knowing what they think about the products and services you are providing.


Make voice of the customer feedback an integral part of your company's decision-making process.


Here are four steps to improve your VOC program:


  1. Listen -- focus on surveys, unstructured feedback and what your employees are saying about what customers like and don't like.

  2. Interpret -- have a holistic view of the customer experience and a 360-degree view of each customer. Collect and share what the customer is saying with management and employees. Discuss the implications of what you are hearing.

  3. React -- close the loop. If a customer complains have a system in place to ensure you resolve their complaint and you get back to the customer to confirm they are happy.

  4. Monitor -- measure the results of your VOC program, know the financial impact it's having on your firm. That's the only way management will continue to support the program. The biggest reason VOC programs fail is lack of executive support.


Following are eight steps to take to ensure your company, and VOC program, is successful:


  1. Be more customer-centric when collecting feedback. Give the customer the opportunity to provide both structured and unstructured feedback. Encourage your employees, and your management team, to make listening to customers a service that everyone provides.

  2. Listen to employees. Collect customer feedback in real-time. Your customer-facing employees are your brand to your customers and the one's most likely to facilitate an emotional connection to your brand.

  3. Integrate multiple data sources to hear everything the customer is saying about you and to learn the details behind the issues and potential solutions.

  4. Be stakeholder-centric when sharing information. C-level executives may want overall KPIs. SBU managers may want to know how they compare to other SBUs. While, front-line employees want to know exactly what the customer is saying and how others have successfully resolved customer issues.

  5. React faster to customer feedback. A customer who sends you a tweet expects a response immediately, while a customer who leaves a comment on Facebook expects a response before the end of the day. You cannot wait until you've triaged all your customer comments to respond. If you wait too long to respond, your customer will think you're either not listening or don't care.

  6. Prioritize improvements you want to make. Know your customers' buyer journey and identify the most significant barriers. If you don't know what these are, ask your customers and your customer-facing employees.

  7. Develop a business case to share with management to justify the time and money being spent on the program. Continue to measure, track and update performance metrics.

  8. Start small. Identify a customer issue. Fix it. Get feedback from the customer. Establish and measure success early and expand your program over time.


Are you and your firm using voice of the customer feedback to accelerate sales and improve the customer experience? 


Want to Accelerate Sales? Download the Free e-book  "Customer Bonding Programs:  How to Get, and Keep,Customers for Life"

Tags: emotional connection to the brand, VoC, voice of the customer, consumer insights accelerate sales, customer centric

Use Insights and Knowledge to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Sep, 09, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

 Farm Bureau sign resized 600


















A few years ago, after creating a tremendously successful campaign for Blue Cross and Blue Shield that reduced negative perceptions by 38%, increased positive perceptions by 19% and doubled inbound leads, they asked us to see if we could help Farm Bureau do a better job of selling Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance.


Farm Bureau sells their own life, auto and home insurance and they are very well respected by their customers. 


At the time I began working on this project, Farm Bureau had 850 agents in North Carolina and those agents weren't coming close to making the annual sales goals that had been agreed to with Blue Cross and Blue Shield.


I recommended, and the client agreed, to let me have one-on-one interviews with 15 of their agents so I could better understand:

  • How they generated leads

  • How they scheduled appointments

  • What took place during an appointment

  • What worked and didn't work with regards to making a sale

  • Their perception of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance

  • Their customers' perception of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance


The one-on-one discussions with the agents were invaluable.


Each interview lasted anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes and gave me a much better understanding of the agents' mentality, how they went about their job and their perception of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance.


As I was presenting my findings to the vice president of sales, who had been managing the 850 agents for the past 20 years, he stopped me 10 minutes into my presentation.


He said, "How did you get this information? You've already told me two things I've never heard before and I've been managing these guys for 20 years."


I explained my methodology and hypothsized that his sales reps were telling me details they never shared with him, or amongst themselves, because they thought they were irrelevant.

Since they were all agents, they tought everyone was doing the same things and knew the same things.


While there were a lot of consistencies, they were also a lot of nuances that each agent had developed over time that helped them be more successful.


One, in particular, was an agent who only met with the husband and wife together at the kitchen table where he could see both of them simultaneously. He wanted to be able to see both decision-makers' reactions.


Based on what the V.P. of sales told me, this finding was subsequently added to the Farm Bureau agent training.


After presenting the findings from the one-on-one interviews, the V.P. of sales asked me to validate the findings, and see if we would learn any new insights, by conducting an online survey of the other 835 agents.


I created and implemented the survey. The results confirmed everything I had learned fromt he one-on-one interviews and provided no new insights since the online survey didn't allow for the all-important follow-up questions, "Can you tell me more about that?" or "Can you explain why you do that?"


The solution to the problem of Farm Bureau agents selling more Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance didn't come directly from any of the agents. 


The solution came from knowing:

  • There's a Farm Bureau agency on a major thoroughfare in all 100 counties in North Carolina.

  • Farm Bureau agents thought very highly of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance, even though they didn't receive as much compensation as they did when they sold a Farm Bureau policy.

  • Farm Bureau clients trust their Farm Bureau agents.

  • Everyone in the state of North Carolina recognizes Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance as the "gold standard."

  • Farm Bureau and Blue Cross and Blue Shield have tremendous brand awareness and equity. 


This knowledge resulted in the recommendation that Farm Bureau buy yellow plastic A-frame signs for every agency with a sign that says "Blue Cross and Blue Shield (logo) health insurance available here Farm Bureau (logo)."


The agents put these signs out in front of their office every morning when they opened the office.


Results: Farm Bureau met their 12-month health insurance sales goals in less than three months and spent less than $65,000 on the signs.


Today, you continue to see the A-frame signs in front of the Farm Bureau offices as well as car magnets of fans of local colleges and universities.


Use insights from your customers and your sales people to help you solve business problems.



Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales



Tags: dialogue, consumer insights accelerate sales, listen intensely, insights from channel partners accelerates sales

Supplement Quantitative VOC with Qualitative for Consumer Insights

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Jun, 17, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

listen intensely for consumer insights










I just completed two dozen one-on-one interviews for a client who had fielded a quantitative customer satisfaction survey based on Net Promoter Score (NPS).


The client received very positive feedback, and a correspondingly strong NPS; however, they felt like they may be missing something so they provided me with the names of 40 respondents to reach out to and engage in a one-on-one dialog about what the company did well and what it could do better.


I learned that their customers were very engaged given that 60% responded to my call or email within a week.


I also learned several things the company does well (i.e., makes their clients' jobs easier, very objective) and what they could do better (i.e., have more client contacts across the company, ensure the lead client contact stays in touch more frequently).


These are insights my client did not get from quantitative research. 


Quantitative tells you what people are doing or what they think.


Qualitative tells you why and what you can do to improve.


Have a dialog with your customers to get to know them, their needs and their wants better.


Better yet, have an independent third party have a dialog with your customers since your customers will be more willing to give the third party some "bad news," or suggestions for improvement, than they'll give the supplier directly.


The insights you get will help you improve your products, service, communications and the customer experience.


All of which will help you generate more revenue and have more satisfied customers.


Want to Accelerate Sales? Download the Free e-book  "Customer Bonding Programs:  How to Get, and Keep,Customers for Life"

Tags: customer satisfaction, VoC, voice of the customer, net promoter score, consumer insights accelerate sales, one-on-one interviews provide consumer insights

Help Customers Win to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Mar, 24, 2014 @ 10:03 AM


help customers win










I had the pleasure of hearing D. Keith Pigues, author of Winning With Customers,  speak to the Triangle American Marketing Association on "Helping Companies to Win by Helping Customers Win."


Here are four questions to ask to help your customers win:

  1. Do we know specifically how we help our customers make more money?

  2. Do we understand how we will help our customers make more money in the future?

  3. Do we measure, and track over time, how much money our customers make by doing business with us?

  4. Do we measure and track how much more money our customers make doing business with us versus the competition?


I doubt very many companies can give a positive and informed answer to all four questions.

The key is to develop such a good relationship with your customer that you can have this conversation on an ongoing basis, know the answers and help your customer improve revenue and/or reduce costs. 


Your customer's reality should be your reality.


Does every member of your management team know what makes you "different and better?"


Does every employee know what makes your firm "different and better?"


Does your home page tell prospective clients what makes your firm different and better -- what you can do for the customer, different and better, than the competition?


To be successful and sustainable, you need to know the differential value proposition of your business -- how much more does the customer make doing business with you versus the competition?


Identify the revenue or cost associated with each product or service your provide your customer.


Identify the two or three differential value attributes that add value to customer revenue or reduce costs more than the competition.


These are invaluable insights to have that will improve your customer relationships as well as increase the likelihood that you will have customers for life.


Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales 

Tags: customers for life, transparency, trust, earn your customers trust, consumer insights accelerate sales

Put the Customer First to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Feb, 10, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

customer-centric Julep Jane Park













Nice to read how Jane Park, a former Starbucks executive, is putting customers first in her omni-channel collaborative beauty company, Julep, in Fast Company "Minting Julep."

With Julep, Ms. Park is reimagining the entire enterprise of selling beauty products to women, from product design to the transaction experience.

She understands how crucial the happiness of the customer is a every step of the journey.

She communicates her vision on her home page, "We believe beauty is about connection, not competition." It's more important for her, and her employees, to make a real connection with customers.

She has trained her employees (facialists and manicurists) to listen closely to customer reactions to products and experiences and report their findings.

These findings have been used to refine colors, packaging and scents.

Being omni-channel, Park has brick-and-mortar and virtual, online, test labs with about 5,000 participants.

This is a brilliant way to engage customers so they are involved in the product development process as well as provided the opportunity to have a "behind the scenes" look that will enhance their emotional connection to the brand.

Park realizes that testing is also marketing, not unlike using focus groups to create buzz for a new product or line expension among key influencers.

By involving customers in your brand, in product development, with your employees, you are creating multiple opportunities for your customer to make an emotional connection to the brand. The stronger the emotional connection, the stronger the customer relationship with regards to spending, repeat business, referrals and social media sharing.

The success of the process is reinforced by the following quote from a customer, "When you get to see everything that a company puts into its product and how passionate the people are, it really builds a brand loyalty."

What can you do to get your customers more involved with your brand?


Empower Employees to Get Insights Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

Tags: loyal customers, customer experience, earn your customers trust, empower employees, consumer insights accelerate sales, connecting emotionally with customers, customer centric

7 Steps to Accelerate Sales and Profits

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Jan, 29, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

steps to accelerating sales and profits







We're nearly a month into the new year.

How are your new business initiatives going?

Need some additional horsepower to generate awareness, traffic and qualified leads?

How about additional revenue from exisiting customers?

Try some of the following:

  1. Blog. Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors. The more frequently you post a blog, the more traffic you will generate. 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day have acquired a customer through their blog. Every blog you post adds a page to your website giving you another opportunity to be found and increasing your SEO performance.

  2. Expand your product/service portfolio. People buy from those they know, like and trust. So who are your best prospects? Your current customers. Learn about their needs and wants and fulfill them with complementary products or services. Zappos started just selling shoes. Now they sell shoes, everything related to shoes, as well as sporting goods, cosmetics and accessories.

  3. Develop strategic alliance and referral partners. Referrals are still the most powerful and effective form of marketing; however, today a lot more referrals are made online by strangers. Leverage relationships with your vendor partners to share leads and recommend B2C or B2B clients to one another depending on what business you are in, respectively.

  4. Add more price points. Give the customer what they want at the price you want. By adding an infinite number of price points, you end up leaving less money on the table and increasing your profitability. Every customer wants something different. They want what they want, their way. Terrific. Give them what they want and charge them for giving them what they want their way. Develop a pricing model that accounts for every different way the customer may want your product or service. Yes, this is an "evergreen" model since your customers will always be wanting something different -- and better.

  5. Actively participate in social media. Build awareness of your brand by sharing information of value in an open and transparent way. Answer questions openly and honestly. You'll build credibility and trust for you and your brand.

  6. Hire a marketing professional. Yes I am a marketing professional. It's what I went to school and got a degree in. It's what I've done for 30+ years. I know it looks easy and you think you know what your customers want; however, based on having worked with more than 80 clients you very likely don't. Who in your company represents the customer? Do you know why your customer thinks your product is "different and better" than the competition? Do you know who your customer sees as your competition? You won't know until you ask. Also, a marketing professional understands the importance of presenting the brand in a consistent way. Any inconsistency confuses the customer and confusion breeds distrust. If you can't afford a full-time marketing professional, hire one by the hour.

  7. Deploy an inbound marketing strategy. I was an outbound marketer for 25 years; however, the internet and social media have flipped the customer as buyer dynamic and now the customer defines your brand for you. You can help them by providing information of value that informs them, rather than selling them, and earning their trust. If you haven't seen Marcus Sheridan's Ted Talk, I recommend taking 12 minutes to watch it. You'll understand the importance of honesty, integrity and transparency in everything you do.
What steps are you taking to accelerate revenue and profit?
Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

Tags: transparency, trust, integrity, earn your customers trust, information of value, accelerate sales, consumer insights accelerate sales, be relevant

Use SoLoMo to Deliver an Outstanding Customer Experience

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Jan, 20, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

use solomo to provide outstanding customer experiences







A recent article caught my attention, Darden ads focusing more on digital, less on TV.

Having followed the development of social/local/mobile (#SoLoMo) I wondered if we are finally beginning to see retailers take advantage of this very powerful, and personal, marketing channel?

Location marketing offers the opportunity for marketers to engage with customers, and prospects, at the right place and the right time. This is invaluable for the marketer and the consumer.

However, it must be done in a way that adds value.

Using what we know from data about where people are, what they are doing, previous behavior patterns and preferences, the cell phone is the perfect medium through which to engage the customers -- especially when you consider more than 85% of U.S. consumers have a cell phone and don't leave home without it.

Generally, consumers see marketing messages (a.k.a., advertising) as intrusive when it's not relevant to them.

Knowing where a consumer is enables the marketer to deliver a much more relevant message.

Location marketing is the bridge between online and offline marketing. It connects an individual's online activity with the buying process since the mobile component tells the marketer if the individual actually went to the store. Additional data will need to be mined to learn whether or not a purchase was made.

Location marketing is a way to:

  1. Reward loyal customers
  2. Upsell
  3. Compete with larger, less nimble, competitors
  4. Make the right offer to the right person at the right time

Recently I've be able to take adventage of two promotions by checking in on Foursquare.

The first was $10 off a $75. or grearter, purchase at Whole Foods when I used my American Express card. Luckily this offer was good for two months since I don't typically spend that much in one visit.

Then last week, my wife asked me to go to Panera to get her a cup of coffee. When I checked in, I had an offer for $5 off if I bought a $15 gift card. Since my wife goes to Panera virtually everyday, it was a wonderful reward -- a 33% discount on a future purchase.

A lot of people are concerned about the intrusive potential of "big data."

Marketers must be careful as Target learned since sending a flyer full of baby products to a teenager still living at home.

However, it can also be used for good.

Foursquare knows I go two places everyday when I'm at home -- the gym and Chipotle.

I'm interested in taking care of myself and eating food that's good for me.

I would be ecstatic to receive a notification from Foursquare, when I check in at an airport (upon landing) where the nearest "healthy" food is.

If you have a healhy food offering at ATL, DFW, ORD or any other major airline hub, get on Foursquare.

Likewise, I would like to:

  • Receive electronic coupons from my grocer when I walk in the front door, not when I check out. 
  • Receive a suggested workout regimen when I check-in at my gym, or any gym for that matter.
  • Be notified of what the drink specials are when I go to a bar.
  • Know what the wait time will be when I go to a doctor's office, or an emergency room.
  • Know how I can get to Des Moines when you just delayed my flight and I'm going to miss my connection.

This is another way to deliver "wow" customer experiences that I will tell others about.

The possibilities are endless from a marketing perspective. You have an opportunity to provide value by improving the quality and simplicity of someone's life.

A recent survey of consumers reinforced the importance of simplification and saving time.

If you're able to help the consumer get through their day more simply and efficiently, you're showing the customer your care about them and their needs and building an emotional connection to the customer.

Foursquare identifies five best practices for location marketing:

  1. Make it close. How close? Within one mile in dense urban areas, three miles in suburban areas and 10 miles in rural areas. Chipotle is two miles from my home and four miles from my office.
  2. Make local work harder. If you're doing location-based marketing already (e.g., outdoor or direct mail) consider loaction-based digital and see what's more effective.
  3. Make any messaging opt-in. A mobile device is the most personal piece of hardware your customer owns. They look at it an average of 150 times per day. Make sure they're open to receiving messages from you and give them an easy way to opt-out.
  4. Make it more than location. While location is powerful, combining the knowledge of location with past behavior, social insights and time of day can lead to much more relevant messages and offers.
  5. Make it addititve. You must ensure you are delivering information of value and adding to the customer experience rather than detracting from it. Be smart. Don't be creepy.

Is SoLoMo on your company's radar? Should it be?

Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales




Tags: outstanding customer experience, information of value, consumer insights accelerate sales, connecting emotionally with customers, referrals

Insights from Analytics -- A Better Way

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Dec, 27, 2013 @ 06:12 AM

have a dialog with customers







A recent study of marketing executives by Accenture ( indicated that "insufficient budgets, a shortage of skills and inadequate tools are hindering their ability to improve operational efficiency, increase productivity and respond to change."

To achieve growth objectives 65% of marketers said they must master customer analytics, 64% said offer innovation and 57% said improve customer engagement and marketing operations.

All of these objectives, except perhaps improving marketing operations, can be achieved by having a dialog with consumers to add insight to analytics.

The quantitative data provided by analytics is valuable; however, the insights provided by having a dialog with customers will make analytics invaluable.

The director of Accenture's CRM consulting group and Accenture Analytics claims insights that can be gained from the data will help marketers identify what customers want and predict how they need to act differently to help steer corporate innovation that can drive improved business outcomes.

I wholeheartedly agree; however, after having obtained insights from quantitative and qualitative data for 30+ years, the insights will be much richer and valuable if obtained with analytics and qualitative research rather than relying strictly on quantitative research.

The three business issues marketers most frequently want to address are:

  1. Customer retention and loyalty;
  2. New customer acquisition; and,
  3. Sales to existing customers.

Readers of this blog know all three issues can be achieved by having a dialog with customers, prospects, the sales channel and employees.

Additionally, with this dialog, you create trust and enhance relationships with all of your constituents. Increased trust and enhanced relationships are something analytics by themselves cannot provide.

Accenture asserts that organizations that understand their customers will be best positioned to achieve their growth strategies in the face of increasingly difficult challenges.

I agree and assert the best way to understand your customers is to create a dialog with them.

What do you do to better understand your customers?

Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

Tags: dialog, consumer insights accelerate sales, connecting emotionally with customers, face to face communications

One-to-One Relationships Generate Consumer Insights

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Dec, 19, 2013 @ 06:12 AM

one-to-one provides greater consumer insights







At a speech before the Executives' Club of Chicago, Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald shared how P&G has evolved its marketing in the age of social media.

"We discover meaningful insights into what consumers need.  We translate those insights into noticeably superior products that are focused on those needs.  We communicate that superiority through advertisements that include compelling claims, performance demonstrations and superior benefit visualization."

"We want to be the most digitized company in our industry.  It is our vision that with digital technology we can have a one-to-one relationship with everyone in the world."

Given the size of Procter & Gamble, if they can have a one-to-one relationship with everyone in the world, your firm can certainly do the same with your customers and prospects.

By committing to have a one-to-one relationship with each of your customers, you'll be able to determine their needs and wants.

In addition, as the relationship matures you will be able to leverage relationships with your best customers whereby they will provide referrals via social media and help you extend and expand your marketing.

There are a couple of things you need to do to accomplish this:

  • Have an excellent CRM systems that everyone of your employees uses religiously. This is how you document customers' needs, wants and insights. Ultimately you will use the information in the CRM to let your customers know how much you care about them.
  • Empower, and encourage, your employees to engage employees in a dialog, in-person or online, to learn more about their needs and wants as well as what they can do for the customer to improve their customer experience.

It wasn't until P&G conducted ethnographic research, one-on-one's with customers, that they learned how to position Febreze.

Febreze, a product originally conceived as a revolutionary way to destroy odors, became an air freshener used once things are already clean. The Febreze revamp occurred in the summer of 1998. Within two months, sales doubled. A year later, the product brought in $230 million. Since then Febreze has spawned dozens of spinoffs — air fresheners, candles and laundry detergents — that now account for sales of more than $1 billion a year.

What are you doing to have a one-to-one relationship with your customers?

Empower Employees to Get Insights Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

Tags: dialog, empower employees, consumer insights accelerate sales, one-on-one interviews provide consumer insights