Have you ever walked into a store and you felt like you were in the middle of a Twilight Zone Episode? You look around and see items that your mom would have purchased back in the day. Employees are robotic and never smile and you wonder how long they will last. You leave thinking you will never visit again and next time you will make sure to go to the competitor. How many times can this happen before a brand becomes nonexistent?
Everything evolves, even brands, and if they are not willing to innovate they will be stuck in 1980 the same way Marty McFly was in Back to the Future! Recently I met with a large retailer who wanted to hear from their customers – you know, listen to the voice of the customer. They had been using several different channels to accomplish this; however, their response rates were low. In fact, they really were hearing from the extremes; those who were their raving fans and those who had a gripe. All other others in between were being lost in the shuffle.
So we took a look at several things:
1. Online Presence (website): How easy is it to navigate? Does it make you want to browse? A recent study by Nielsen showed that by 2014, nearly 60 percent of the 142.1 million U.S. mobile population will access the Internet using mobile browsers. That means very soon, the majority of Web users will access it via phones and be less dependent on computers. This shift to mobile phone viewing also means that the size of your site is about to get much smaller.
2. Social Media: What type of social media presence do you have and are you engaging with your customers in an effective way? Are you reaching out to those who have made comments out there in cyber land about your brand or are you concentrating on only what customers post on your sites? Monitoring the web for your brand is more important than ever before. The brand did very well in this area and used best in class software at a premium price.
3. Connect the Dots: Here is where they fall short. Big data is not rich data. When I asked if they were seeing reports on what customers thought of their brand online, I was met with empty stares. Did they not think of this? The answer is no. Why? Because that is handled by a different department. It is so important to make sure your customer dots are connected so that your data is rich and not just big. It will make a world of difference in your branding and your revenue.