Putting customer experience at the forefront and listening to the voice of the customer are both essential to remaining competitive. Many customer experience professionals believe that being customer-centric is essential to differentiation in the current marketplace. Yet, some brands still don’t get it.
But, unlike some, Kreg Tool Company has embraced customer-centricity. Embodying the philosophy, Kreg has made listening to and educating the customer priorities. Kreg actively engages on several social media platforms in addition to providing resources for customers such as participating with DIY blog partners on projects for weekend warriors and providing videos on their website in an attempt to engage and connect with consumers. They also seek to appeal to consumer’s higher level, daily concerns as a means of engaging with their consumers by offering practical tips through valuable engagement.
Given Kreg’s recent and successful efforts to listen to the voice of the customer across multiple channels, FutureCX reached out to Dan Fisher, their Customer Experience Coordinator, to chat about the company’s customer experience and content strategy and how it helps them remain competitive in a tough market.
Here’s what Dan had to say:
RS: How do you feel customer experience and customer engagement has changed in recent years? What impact has social media and other new customer engagement channels had on this?
Dan Fisher: Customer experience and engagement has changed as customers demand an emotional connection and want to feel good about who they do business with. It’s about their heart and mind.
Since the economic impact of 2008, consumers are giving more thought to how they spend and who they give their money to. Brands are expected to earn their money.
Customer experience has become about so much more than the dollars and cents. It is about a company’s purpose, why they do what they do, how the company inspires and educates their customers, delivers a product that performs as promised and treats customers as they want to be treated. Social media channels allow customers to influence engagement in a much more substantial way because they are able to share their customer, product, and brand experience with a much larger audience.
RS: Kreg Tool has an active and vibrant online presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+, in order to engage customers. How does the company manage the engagement across multiple platforms? Does the diversity of your online engagement create challenges?
Dan Fisher: We have multiple dedicated resources assigned to oversee our social media platforms and to engage with our customers. We do this by sharing our customers’ and partners’ successes, as well as by offering them inspirational and educational content. We also share items that reflect “who” we are, like a recent Instagram post about our employees packaging Meals from the Heartland.
Beyond our social media platforms, we are also heavily involved with the do-it-yourself blog world, where Kreg products are widely used. That means the followers of these blogs have are engaged with our products and customer experience in ways that are beyond our control. Because of that, we work closely with partners in the blog world to make sure they understand our products, to facilitate their creation of a positive customer experience, to partner in order help educate and inspire them, as well as to use their content to build our customer engagement through Kreg’s social media channels.
RS: Part of your vibrant online efforts are DIY project kits and tips, some of them videos others slideshows. How has having resources like those available to customers impacted and added to customer experience and satisfaction? Have resources such as these impacted the customer value attributed to your website?
Dan Fisher: The foundation of our customer experience is to inspire and educate.
Project kits, tips, videos and slideshows are an integral part of providing this foundation that leads the customer to desire a relationship with us. These resources provide customers information needed when it is convenient to them, increasing satisfaction.
We have seen through Customer Satisfaction surveys that our website and the resources provided there have a direct positive correlation to their satisfaction.
RS: How has listening to the voice of the customer helped Kreg Tool better serve its customers and its ability to offer a top-notch customer experience?
Dan Fisher: Listening to our customers is key to building relationships and engagement. Listening allows our customers the opportunity to express themselves, giving us the opportunity to empathize and ultimately design an experience, product, and service delivery that works for them.
Our Customer Experience Team is empowered to create bonds with our customers and have the tools to own and control these interactions. The Customer Experience Team is just part of the equation.
We collect VOC via a number of channels: social media, face to face, and surveys. We are establishing processes to share this information internally that allow the Voice of the Customer to impact our experience, product and service delivery.
RS: As it relates to managing your customer experience, what is Kreg’s main strategic initiative for 2015 and why? What are you hoping this initiative will achieve?
Dan Fisher: Kreg’s focus for 2015 in relation to customer experience is to improve our use of Voice of Customer Data; this includes collecting, processing, analyzing and sharing the data more consistently to improve our experience, products and service delivery.
To truly understand and improve the customer experience I believe you must start with the customer. We need to understand what the customer cares about, how they feel and what they want by listening to their feedback. By starting with the customer we can understand what promises we need to make and how to deliver on them to build brand loyalty.