A few days ago, I attended the Customer Experience Congress with my colleague Leticia from We Are Testers, held at the Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid. This congress covered many current topics in the industry: Virtual Communities, technological tools for data processing, Big Data, Business Intelligence, and more. Among all the interesting presentations and practices, what caught my attention the most were the cases presented by executives from major companies in various sectors such as Mapfre, Hyundai, Multiópticas, L’Oreal, or Toys’r’us. They shared some of the strategies they implement to better connect with their customers.
Among these strategies, I want to highlight a couple that I found particularly interesting, simply because of their more «human» nature and how effective they were in addressing specific problems or barriers in their respective markets and at that particular time.
Daniel Solera, Director of Quality and Network Development at Hyundai, presented some strategies they had implemented to address the obstacles, doubts, and difficulties that customers face when considering the purchase of a new vehicle. And here’s the first victory in my opinion: Not thinking about making your product more attractive, not thinking about making more people aware of it, not lowering the price, no… Thinking about the «whys». Thinking about why someone who needs your product and wants to buy it doesn’t do it, as well as thinking about how to help them overcome that difficulty. Later, we’ll discuss how to identify the difficulties a potential customer faces.
During the last economic crisis, new car sales plummeted dramatically. Many people had lost their jobs, and those who still had them feared losing them for a long time, so the purchase of a new vehicle was indefinitely postponed. To solve this problem, they devised a campaign where, if you bought the car and lost your job, they would pay for the car for a year since, at that time, the average time to find a job was 9 months.
I find this strategy very clear and effective. In other words, they understood that there was a barrier to purchase caused by an unstable economic context. The solution? Provide consumers with the stability they need to finally take the step of purchasing the product.
Another strategy allowed consumers to test the vehicle for a month and cover two thousand kilometers. If they were not satisfied with the purchase, the brand would take back the car and refund the money. This strategy addresses another barrier to purchase, which is the potential dissatisfaction with the product once you get to know it in-depth, in the context in which you will use it, and especially considering the significant investment required for its purchase.
Virtual Communities as a Response
While reflecting on these very interesting strategies, I realized a key point: how do you find out about the concerns, barriers, and obstacles to purchasing your product? Communication with your potential customers is essential, but it must be done in a controlled manner to gather valid information that can support such strategies.
This is where tools like virtual customer communities come into play, which We are testers create using our WAT Lab tool. In this platform, a moderator initiates discussions on issues like these where community members—potential customers in these cases—openly discuss the difficulties, problems, or barriers they encounter when considering the purchase of such a product. By working with them on various possible lines of innovation, campaigns, or ideas, we can arrive at the most appropriate strategies to «alleviate» a problem in our market.
How can we design the most effective and innovative strategies if we are not constantly listening to the customer? «Constant» is the keyword in the previous sentence because at We Are Testers, we aim to convey to our clients that communities should persist over time as a microphone that gives voice to the consumer. They can be used for specific projects, but they are more effective in the long term, allowing you to detect trends in consumer thinking, work on upcoming campaigns or creatives, identify threats from other products, behaviors, or external factors that could jeopardize the business, in short, use them as a strategic tool for various projects and from different departments.
Another use and application of this type of Virtual Communities is innovation in new products or services, working closely with customers and the sales network to not only consider the opinion of those who will buy the product but also the experience of those who interact with customers every day. Likewise, it is a very effective tool for carrying out and promoting internal innovation processes, thanks to brand or employee virtual communities.
We at We Are Testers encourage you to innovate in strategies aimed at your customers, but always based on first-hand information, meaning the consumer, about the issues that concern them most. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will inform you about our WAT Lab tool and the applications of Virtual Communities for your business or information needs.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.wearetesters.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/dario.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Darío López is a Key Account Manager at We Are Testers.</author_info] [/author]
Update date 22 December, 2023