Principles Research

Always wanting to keep up to date with the latest in Digital developments we attended the Go Digital Live conference in Leeds this week. The overall theme of the conference surrounded online customer experience.

There were many fascinating lessons from the diverse talks throughout the day. For those of you who didn’t attend we’ve summarised these into five key areas to ensure your business meets the digital needs of your customers.

1. Validating your product

Whether you have just started your business or it is long-stranding with millions of sales, it is vital to validate your product. Customer validation needs to be at the heart of everything you do from launching your product to making incremental improvements like brand or packaging redesign.
If you don’t validate with customers your team runs the risk of contracting Groupthink, a contagious style of thinking which is rooted in self-congratulation rather than reality.
James Brown, the founder of Beer52 and keynote speaker at the event, described how his previous business ventures had failed as he sought validation from family and friends who would never fully critique. Since then customer feedback and engagement has been at the heart of everything his business does, with insight being analysed by each individual beer they offer.

2. Embrace the challenge

Putting your customer first can come with a lot of challenges. They may have difficult demands or expect you to deliver something you have little experience of. It can be tempting to just say we can’t do it, but what if you embraced the challenge? Could it be actually develop new opportunities for your business to grow?
At the event Savvy Marketing described their challenge to deliver bespoke VR experiences to clients. Having only previously shown the VR experiences on an individual basis they were challenged by Adidas to have a collective group experience. This led to their team challenging themselves to make the impossible happen and delivered a successful experience for dozens of people at the same time.
However, these challenges are not just limited to the product you deliver but also the way in which you deliver it to customers. James Brown of Beer52, recalled how he challenged himself to offer his products via Groupon before his business had fully launched. The product quickly became one of the most popular on the platform, generating 1000’s of orders overnight. Not bad for one guy and his computer! This quick demand generation was also a huge challenge, but James persevered and delivered to his customers allowing him to then launch his business with continued popularity.

3. Accept failure and strive for success

Wouldn’t it be great if all businesses had quick and continued success? Unfortunately the typical journey is not all plain sailing and overnight success stories. Failure and mistakes are something which most businesses will experience on some scale. The key thing is to understand why they have happened, take learnings and use this information to improve future products and customer experience.

Sometimes issues which are not expected or planned for can surprise us and cause problems. James Brown echoed this following the 1,000s of Beer52 Groupon orders he received. He soon discovered that 30% of orders had been delivered to customers with smashed bottles after being sent in poor packaging, something he hadn’t considered. Moreover, Beer 52 had no customer service system leaving James with an email inbox of over 5000 angry customers.

It’s true that some issues just can’t be foreseen and may be caused by things outside of your control. However, those which can be, such as your product, packaging, website and customer service experience, should be constantly reviewed and errors made learnt from to develop the business further.

4. There is always room for improvement

Once you’ve achieved success, you can’t rest on your laurels. Customers expect the best possible products and service, therefore your business should always be looking for ways to innovate and focus on future developments.
Beer52 are not content with their tried and tested method of craft beer subscriptions. They have branched out by publish a monthly magazine, brew their own beers and have created an engaging customer loyalty system. All of these elements are helping the business to not only increase revenue streams but improve customer experience.
Identifying opportunities for your brand and product offering can easily be done by speaking directly to your customers, learning from experts in the field and assessing developments in the market.

5. Go the extra mile

Your promise to customers shouldn’t be to just deliver what they want. Finding opportunities to go the extra mile can help to build long-standing relationships by showing your customers how valued they are and that you are working in their best interests.
Event speaker Savvy, spoke about how they surprised and delighted a client by replicating a project across their client’s different teams. They presented this to their client who loved it so much they increased the number of Savvy services used. Not only did this lead to increased sales for Savvy but also their client, leading to a strengthened relationship.

The key thing when going the extra mile is to firstly understand your customers. What are they likely to need or want in the future and how can you support them? Whether it’s a b2b service like Savvy or a clothing retailer offering discounts to customers, understanding their current shopping behaviour and needs are vital. A lack of understanding can lead to customers being disgruntled such as receiving an offer on an item after they have just purchased one.

Your next steps

Applying these 5 top tips may seem daunting whilst you are working hard to make sure your business runs smoothly. That’s why we are on hand to support you, with over 30 years of working closely with our clients to help them successfully grow their businesses, we can do all the hard work for you.
If you’d like to understand how we can help you develop your business further get in touch today!

Phone: 01132262266