Customer Loyalty is the New Innovation

Customer Loyalty

I’m not going to tell you a story about an experience that I had as a customer recently that WOW’d me. We all know that WOW experience-the WOW Factor– the one that goes the extra mile and helps businesses achieve positive “word of mouth” about their business, product or service. At Mindspot Research we can even measure how much that “word of mouth” means by calculating the net promoter score (NPS), which tells you a score based on the number of promoters and detractors. Promoters are better. However, that isn’t what I am talking about today. Great customer service that may contribute to the NPS is the ante into the game of getting and keeping customers. Additionally, consider that it makes sense to keep your profitable customers and that keeping profitable customers is less expensive than acquiring new customers like them.

What I am talking about today is your current loyal profitable customers and how they are more important to you today than they have ever been. In this fast business environment, innovation is critical and your next great idea is likely to be found in your customer’s mind.

Consider that your loyal customers hold the key to your next innovation. As consumer researchers, we know it is always exciting to hear what your customers think! We understand that your loyal customers may be willing to help you create your next innovation, improve your service and discover your strengths and weaknesses. Often the stronger the relationship and therefore the customer loyalty, the more likely those customers are to help you solve your problems both short and long-term. As professional marketing researchers, here are a few things we know:

• Focusing on the customer experience can lead to co-creation in innovation
• People like to be heard
• If customers have unmet needs they are aware of they are typically happy to let you know
• Loyal Customers are more likely to work with you on an on-going basis
• Customers typically feel valued when you ask their opinion
• When customers feel valued it increases the strength of the relationship

A good place to start your next innovation process is by having a conversation with your most loyal customers. When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, they focused on the customer experience by discovering what users do with the device and then by opening the iPhone to software developers globally, which resulted in the thousands of applications you can now choose from. This is a well-known example of the Co-creation principle.

If you want to have the conversation with many of your customers or quantitatively measure what’s on their minds, give us a call. We are happy to design marketing research that will help you start exploring, ideating, and innovating with your customers.

by Lynnette Leathers CEO of Mindspot Research, a division of Mindspot, Inc.

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