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  • Writer's pictureDamian Miller

Experience Story: Listening to customers matters

Over the years of advising and supporting well-known brands to engage with their customers and deliver great experiences I have been privileged to be part of some customer initiatives that have both shaped my career and demonstrated how powerful customer research can be. I want to share some of those stories with you.

High Street Grocery Retailer

This story takes place a few years back but is a very powerful example of how listening to customers, understanding their needs and ensuring that you put insights at the heart of decision making can make a big difference to customer loyalty and advocacy.

This well known, high street name had recently made some ranging changes, based purely on sales data, due to space challenges in stores. After implementing these changes, the retailer noticed that they were losing some high-value customers and wanted to understand what was happening.

I put together an approach to listen to those customers and understand what factors were at play including their wants and needs. These customers wanted to elevate their home cooking, to go beyond just making a meal and had believed that this retailer was supportive of that, through their range of products that promoted that lifestyle choice. They had noticed the range changes and felt that this signalled that the retailer wasn’t supporting their needs anymore. This lifestyle choice wasn’t something that the retailer was actively promoting at the time, but on finding out that this was how these customers felt, I recommended that this was something that they needed to cultivate as a means of retaining those high-value customers. I knew that they wouldn’t put the entire range of ingredients back in, but they could review and look at what products could come back and then how they could build their reputation beyond the range in supporting more premium home cooking. This included marketing communications and key messages in their magazine and other media, creating menu/recipe cards.

The result was that not only did they manage to stop the flow of customers leaving, but they also actually picked up more customers who were inspired and were looking for an affordable way to elevate their kitchen craft. By understanding their customers’ needs and wants that cannot always be seen in sales data, this retailer was able to change and adapt their customer strategy to connect to their customers and grow loyalty and advocacy through an improved customer experience.

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