How Customer Obsession Drives Success
Aron began by recalling how he proved the value of putting the customer first at Bloom & Wild. “We started measuring Net Promoter Scores very early on”, he said, “but I needed to prove why that was important. So, we did a correlation between repeat rate and the Net Promoter Scores customers gave us.”
Remarkably, the research demonstrated a perfect, linear correlation. Those who gave an NPS of 10 were more likely to be a repeat customer than those who gave a 9, and so on and so forth. In other words, the better the NPS, the more recurring business the company would generate, and the more success it would see.
“Proving that made us really believe in the direct, tangible business value of the scores we were getting”, Aron explained. “And after that we became obsessed with eliminating low Net Promoter Scores.”
“But what methods can you use to do that?” wondered one attendee, to which Aron responded with three actionable processes: collecting and measuring feedback to see how you can improve your product or service, embedding customer care throughout your team, and making sure that care is felt by every customer, online or in-person.
Measure, Analyse, Improve
Aron admitted that Bloom & Wild’s product category lends itself to receiving feedback – people are more likely to share their thoughts on products they are emotionally invested in, like flowers – and that a lot of other businesses struggle somewhat to generate the same response rate.
To remedy that, he stressed the importance of giving customers additional incentive to share their opinions. “You can incentivise giving feedback by entering customers into competitions if they do so”, he suggested. “You can also offer discount codes and such the like, too. But you must keep your feedback forms simple, otherwise you lose the magic of NPS.”
The next step is to analyse that feedback to see where you can improve. Categorising qualitative data into groups, like speed of delivery, quality of product and the longevity of the product, for instance, and linking it to the scores you’re receiving is a brilliant way to identify the areas you need to enhance. “You start to build up a picture of what the root causes of their scores are and connect their feedback to them”, Aron clarified.
From there, you can make changes based on your findings and measure the results. “If we receive a number of low scores in a particular area, for example, and our customers are citing late arrivals as the reason for those scores”, said Aron, “we might change the courier we use to see if those scores improve.” It’s a continuous process of refinement that will boost your NPS scores. If one change doesn’t increase your ratings, try something else, then measure again. Repeat the process until the feedback improves and you will reap the benefits.
Embed Customer Care
A challenge many founders and CEOs wrestle with is how to make sure their team members share and propagate their values. Aron quickly discovered that the first vital step in this regard is recruitment, which he clarified to our members.
“Screen for people who’ve gone the extra mile”, he advised. “Look for people who have done their homework about your business because that tends to be a good indicator of character: do they understand what you stand for?”
In the beginning, Aron revealed that he interviewed every new hire himself, but this became increasingly difficult as the company grew, so he evolved his approach as time went on. “It doesn’t have to be you that they meet”, he declared, “as long as they meet one of a relatively small group of people you really trust to enforce that standard.”
It’s also imperative to continue cultivating customer care for your existing team. “Keep embedding your values by implementing things like value recognition Slack channels and values awards,” Aron suggested. This ensures your values stay central to your staff’s decision-making process which, if your values are to care about your customers, will improve their overall experience as a result.
Perhaps the most interesting advice Aron shared on this subject was making sure every person in your enterprise engages with customer service at one point or another. “We make every team member do customer delights,” he revealed. “This could be something like mandatory in-store work once a year, or making your tech team pick up tickets about tech problems.” This method exposes your entire team to the feedback your customers are sharing about your business, giving them all insight on the customer’s perspective and how they can improve.
Care for your Online Customers
As the owner of a predominantly bricks and mortar clothing brand, one CEO who joined us asked how to replicate their in-store customer care, online. “We have such a good relationship with our customers in-store”, she explained. “But how can we show that to our online customers?”
“I think it’s firstly a question of how quickly you respond to people”, Aron replied. “But then it’s about your tone of voice.” He joked that he would not recommend using Chat GPT, for instance, to answer customer queries. “It’s fine to have macros and things like that, but you must make sure you customise them for each customer because they can tell when they’ve received an automated response.”
Standard responses are impersonal and fail to convey a sense of care. They will not create the connection or loyalty necessary to building a strong relationship with your customers and will ultimately put them off because they won’t feel valued or understood.
Finally, Aron advocated generosity when dealing with customers’ problems. “I think it’s so important to be generous when people aren’t satisfied”, he confirmed. “Financial compensation and things like that are really things people care about, so try to avoid quibbling with them in those cases.” Dealing with a customer complaint in a professional, courteous, and generous manner could be the difference between a returning customer or someone who is lost forever. It could also be the difference between a customer recommending your business to their friends and family, and telling them to avoid your company at all costs.
We’d like to say a big thank you to Aron for leading this month’s CEO Circle and providing such a wealth of advice throughout. If any of the issues discussed in this article are affecting your business, apply to All Together today for up to 5 hours of pro bono mentoring every year.