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Megatrend #2: Customers Expect You to Trust Their Requirements for Deeper Engagement

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The Myth: Marketers already know what their customers want and why they do what they do.

The Reality: Simply relying on talking among yourselves in conference rooms, simple surveys, discussions with a few customers, or anecdotal feedback from your sales force, is often a recipe for serious competitive disadvantage. Given the new economic climate and internet empowerment of customers, in-depth discussions with both customers and prospects are now essential.

In our experience, when marketers gain an in-depth understanding of the expectations of customers and re-engineer their marketing per these expectations, double-digit increases in response and revenue are the norm.

This is one of several major findings based on Voice of Customer (VOC) Relationship Research for companies such as Microsoft, NBC Universal, IBM, and Life Line Screening. Other VOC findings identified four critical consumer megatrends to which marketers must rapidly adapt. The first megatrend was discussed in my 11/15 blog, Megatrend #1: Customers Expect Multichannel, PREFERENCE-DRIVEN Communications. We now turn our attention to...

Megatrend 2: Customers Expect You to Trust Their Requirements for Deeper Engagement.

Life Line Screening is an excellent case in point.

They are the leading provider of community-based preventive health services and deliver affordable, high-quality screenings that are essential to the early detection of risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions.

Management's strategic priority was customer retention. The goal: Double the number of returning customers from 2009 to 2012.

Initially, Life Line's retention campaign was built around the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which identifies metrics connected to consumer responses to the question "How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?" While NPS was a useful tool, Life Line wanted to take its retention initiative to the next level by...
  • Identifying why not all happy customers became returning customers.
  • Creating a much deeper relationship with consumers.
In-depth Voice of Customer interviews with key segments of the customer base provided Life Line's management with a clearer understanding of the factors likely to lead a first-time customer to become a repeat customer.

Based on these detailed customer insights, Life Line was able to create strategies and action plans for increasing customer retention, including greater and more personalized multichannel touches at key points in the customer lifecycle.

The Result: 40% increase in returning customers!

Try This: Define the most important factors which would help you increase customer retention and renewal rates.

Use these factors to design Voice of Customer research. This research will address complex customer needs, so plan on in-depth discussions with customers. In our experience, 60 minute interviews are required to adequately discuss these complex issues and gain in-depth guidance from customers.