Did you know in every company meeting at Amazon there’s at least one empty chair? It doesn’t matter if the meeting is between two people or two hundred people, Amazon always keeps an extra chair empty to symbolize the voice of the customer. What this does is subconsciously embed the customer experience throughout all of Amazon’s decision making. Whenever an executive wants to make a change, that chair reminds them that they have to consider how this change will affect the customer as well as their experience with the company.
The best innovation is customer-driven. This means that the customer’s input is the primary inspiration for the change that your business is making. We’ll talk more about what this means later in this post, but listening and responding to customer reviews is the first step you can take towards customer-driven innovation.
Business Example: HubSpot
When it comes to customer reviews, HubSpot is very in tune with what its customers are saying about its products and services. The company not only monitors third-party sites for mentions and new listings, but also participates actively by responding to customers shortly after they publish a review. Here’s an example of one from Glassdoor that a HubSpot rep responded to.
13. Prioritize High-Quality Customer Support.
Customer service is a customer acquisition tool – and a dang good one, too. If you provide high-quality customer support, people will want to work with your business, even if your products cost a little more. In fact, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience than a poor one. This means if your customer support is better than your competition, you’ll have another marketing tool that you can leverage when attracting new leads.
Business Example: Zappos
Zappos is an online retailer that has built its reputation around customer service. It has a unique corporate culture that encourages support reps to do whatever it takes to delight the customer, even if that means going outside of standard policy or protocol. Zappos’ customer support is so good that the company even promotes its most memorable interactions as advertisements, like in the example below.
14. Adopt Powerful Customer Service Tools.
As your customer base grows, the demand for your customer service team will increase as well. While your team e quality of service for some time, eventually they’ll struggle to keep up as you continue to acquire more customers. This leaves you with the choice of either hiring more reps or adopting new technology to give your team a hand.
Tools like help desks and shared inboxes make a major difference in your support team’s workflow. They can automate tasks, enable collaboration, and help reps manage their queues as your customer base continues to grow. These tools help support teams meet the timely expectations of your customers while still providing that same quality of service that makes your brand stand out.
Business Example: Yoga International
Yoga International is a subscription-based, online yoga studio that offers courses and lessons through its website. Recently, the company adopted Service Hub, to collect customer feedback and respond to customer reviews. This has led to a 20% decrease in customer churn and a 5% increase in referrals. Not to mention, there have been an estimated 1,000 support tickets that have been deflected since the company implemented these tools.
Earlier in this post, we mentioned how innovation is most effective when it’s customer-driven. However, achieving this isn’t as simple as just asking customers for their opinions on your products. You need to develop a systematic approach that makes feedback more accessible and encourages customers to speak freely about your brand.