Why Should Your Brand Focus on Customer Suggestions?
Every person has that moment when he holds a product or has an experience with a service and thinks, “Wow! This is awesome. And wouldn’t it be better if they just did this one little thing?” It happens so often that we are not always aware of it.
The feeling can be an impulse—a quick reaction to an event that takes place—and, within a flash, as quick as it comes, it evaporates. Gone.
Sometimes the feeling returns and, as it happens again and again, it crystallizes, takes shape, and fleshes itself out. At that precise moment, the person wants to reach out and convey that all-important thought.
That is the mind of the consumer. That is the mind of your customer.
For the brand, the challenge is how to capture “the moment,” harness it, and send it through the organization so that everyone knows what the customer is thinking about our product.
How do we, the brand, make our product better? How can we bridge the gap between the customer and ourselves? How do we get their thoughts and feelings and ensure the customer feels like he or she is appreciated?
If we can do this, we can transform a casual consumer into a loyal customer and build a better product that meets that person’s changing needs, wants, and desires.
Why focus on customer suggestions? Suggestions are born out of a need derived from the repeated use of a product or task. Humans are driven to develop, improve, and evolve. It is in our bones to seek out new ways to improve repetitive tasks and to create new products for doing so.
Everything we do on a daily basis has been improved upon over time. The computer I use to write this article; the chair that I sit on; the coffee that I drink.
Suggestions or improvements will always find a way of making themselves evident. But can you catch them in time, and before your competitors do?
Brands have built a wonderful digital presence to engage customers and to spread their message. The benefits of a digital footprint are that it global and never closed, making the brand accessible from anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Capitalize on the hard work and keep the momentum of your digital presence going by developing your proprietary digital domains to gather valuable consumer contributed direct data in real time. This allows you to improve on your products and services. Gathering suggestions directly from your customers on your digital properties is the easiest and most productive way of collecting valuable real-time structured data.
For the Brand
Brands want to and need to improve on products and services. However, for brands, change is harder. Sometimes, it is extremely difficult. Especially when it comes to the development of a new product. Produce the wrong product or introduce it at the wrong time and lose money. Get it right and you cash in.
Even small improvements can be costly. Small changes to production can affect all aspects of the business and raise costs. However, the risk is far too great not to evolve. Thus, real-time knowledge of customer needs and wants is paramount.
Competition and Disruption
There are two things you have to do to use competition and disruption to your own ends. First, listen to your customer. Second, respond. Consumers will always find other means of obtaining what they ultimately want if you’re not actively listening and responding.
The brands most heavily affected and that stand to lose the greatest are the more conservative, more established brands that are slow to make change. Competition in the form of innovative and nimble brands will creep in, seek out the need, and furnish the product or service. Competitors can carve out a niche, causing a wedge, and soon take over the segment.
You can learn to love competition. It spurs on the brand to improve. Understanding needs/wants/desires and evolving your brand is a way of keeping pace, and customers’ suggestions are the easiest way to gain insight.
There is no “finally.” The good thing about product improvement is that we can always continue to work on the success of the brand. Our hats are off to those intrepid people who start a brand and to those who move the brand forward, for their work will never be done.
As you engage with your stakeholders and improve your products, don’t forget to listen to the people that matter the most: the people who buy the product/service and use it. The best way to do that is to listen to their suggestions.
They want you to succeed, too, you know. Your customers are your experts and they look forward to the days when the product grows, changes, and evolves as they do. When you listen to your customers, you become innovators of a great brand and you leave it in a better state.
Definition of the Day
- Kaizen – The Japanese word kaizen simply means “change for better,” with no inherent meaning of either “continuous” or “philosophy” in Japanese dictionaries or in everyday use. The word refers to any improvement, one-time or continuous, large or small, in the same sense as the English word “improvement.”
Wikipedia. 2017. “Kaizen.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen
Sign Up for Blog Updates