Putting The Customer First

Putting The Customer First

This week, a couple of things focussed my mind on the essential policy of putting the customer first.

I was travelling to a Search and Digital conference in Manchester and arriving at the station, found my train to be running 30 minutes late. This could mean that I would miss the start of the conference.

Putting The Customer First #1

putting the customer firstWandering along the platform to wait the extra half hour for the train, I spotted a poster. It told me that the train operator would refund part of my fare if the train was more than 15 minutes late.

It is a new operator on the line I was using and this was quite refreshing to see. The previous operator didn’t have, or had never promoted this offer. Or if it did, then it was kept very quiet.

The poster instructed me do download the app after my journey and apply for a refund. The next day, I also received an email from the operator offering me a refund. They had obviously checked tickets purchased for that particular journey and let customers know how to claim their refund. Full marks from me for that.

Putting The Customer First #2

That same evening, I caught a television show called “Interior Design Masters”. It featured two teams of interior designers that had been briefed to re-design the interior of two identical holiday bungalows in Lincolnshire.

With all work completed, they presented their finished projects to the judges.

The first team’s design was well liked and the judges praised it. As well as being creative yet practical, it was well liked.

The second team then presented their work. This time, it wasn’t to the judges’ taste. They had chopped and changed the design to the point that they had lost sight of the brief.

Needless to say, they didn’t win.

What went wrong? Among other things, they had strayed from the original concepts and were rightly criticised for not putting the customer first. This was a very big mistake.

Putting The Customer First #3

putting the customer firstThe third example is something that really excited me.

One of the afternoon presenters at the Search and Digital Conference – yes, I did just made it on time – was the digital marketing manager of Liverpool One shopping complex on Liverpool’s waterfront area.

This speaker highlighted the retailer’s recent ‘Dinosaurs Unleashed’ adventure, a campaign that firmly set the customer at the centre of things.

The campaign centered around the creation of an app for kids that featured a giant T-Rex and other digital content.

The idea was that the kids could go around Liverpool One searching for dinosaurs and feed stations, while watching videos, playing games and attending events. They could also collect points by hatching dinosaurs from giant eggs.

The company’s philosophy was simple. Identify what the customer needs to get them to visit the location and put them at the centre of things with these exciting augmented reality features.

The customer was the hero.

This special high tech Jurassic event was promoted using a combination of traditional and online media. Billboards, newspapers and social media were all designed to promote the experience, rather than the shops or their products.

The result was an uplift in footfall that bucked the seasonal trend.

Delegates left with the following takeaways:

  • Make the customer the hero; understand the customer’s struggles; take the customer on a journey; do not exploit content for an easy sale; give value and you will be valued.

This was a superbly informative presentation, with excellent subject matter, that successfully employed a holistic marketing and advertising approach that really inspired families.

And the app is roar-some – watch the video here.

As website developers and content writers with organic SEO ( search engine optimisation ) in mind there is one thing we ask the customer before we even start work:

“What do you want to be found for?”

I don’t think this question is asked anything like enough. The answer then allows us to focus exactly what the customer wants from his website and tailor the creative and SEO accordingly.

Yes, your website must be appealing, but it also needs give the customer a good return on investment.

Author: Geoff Noake

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