There are those who talk, and talk some more…and there are those who listen. The marketers who listen to what their customers have to say and put their own thoughts and opinions aside- are the most effective. Humble marketers are the best marketers.
It’s Not All About Storytelling. It’s About Listening.
As a marketer, my job is to storytell. However, that’s a very, very small piece of what I do. How warm and fuzzy it would be if I were only responsible for shouting storybook fairy tale messages to our customers all day long! I actually spend most of my time developing tools for our customers to offer us feedback, monitoring customer data collection, measuring that data, responding to customer issues, then deciding whether or not to make tweaks to our program. Most of the major program releases and updates we have had at Bristlecone Holdings have been in response to customer and retailer feedback. Feedback, feedback, feedback. Then, the rest of my time is spent storytelling… based on customer feedback.
Your customers are already talking about you online, I highly recommend you offer them a place to send their comments your way.
Constantly Take Your Brand’s Temperature
What are people saying about your brand? If you don’t know, it’s time to get humbled and find out.
There are so many ways to do this. Whether you send out surveys, ask questions on social media, provide inbound tools on your website, chat, jump on the phones, etc. Always provide your customers with the ability to have a voice and nurture inbound feedback. Open your company up for the punches, it will be the best decision you will ever make as a marketer. Great companies are easy to get a hold of and are waiting for your feedback.
I oversee all of our inbound channels, and I monitor what comes in. Majority of the customer’s who will take the time to offer info about your company- will be negative, because they have an issue that they would like resolved. So, keep that into consideration. The positive notes that do trickle in are beaming rays of sunshine that I often want to screen on a t shirt and pass out to all of the world. My email is also connected to our CRM software, and I receive an email each time we get a major complaint. We have (in my own humble opinion) an incredible service team who manages all of our customer issues. I simply attached myself to the issues that come in so that I can hear what people are saying about our brand, and I can make adjustments accordingly. What I have learned from our customers has been invaluable to the future of our business.
Feedback is Humbling
OUCH! Sometimes it’s brutal. That storybook fairy tale that you spent lots of money and time in developing just got crushed by some lady in Montana via Twitter and Facebook. What do you mean she didn’t like our service? Our service and business is perfect! WRONG. That’s going to leave a mark if you ignore it. Respond to her. Listen to her. Learn from her. Make adjustments if necessary. Definitely consider making adjustments if she’s not the only one with this feedback. And by the way, no product or service is perfect.
What worked for your brand in the past is not going to work in the future. How do you know what changes to make? Bingo. Open yourself up to feedback and give your customers that they want, not what you think they should want. Products that we launch are NOT the same products 6 (sometimes sooner) months later. Some changes are major, some changes are slight- either way, our products evolve due to customer feedback.
Remember, your brand is not what you say it is. Your brand is what your customers say it is. Let your customers humble you!