De-mystifying customer engagement myth #1

In a previous post, I identified the five myths of customer engagement. Today I will talk about myth #1: engaging customers means asking them what they want.

Engaging customers means getting them involved. It means giving them an exclusive preview or access before the generall public or participation in new product development. However, it is not truly engagement when you ask customers what they want through an online survey, or a focus group. Yes, you are getting them involved, but being part of a focus group or completing an online survey does not create loyalty. Imagine taking these steps with a customer:

  1. You call a customer and tell them you would like their input into the next generation of a product you are developing
  2. You invite them to join a customer panel and describe your new product and
  3. You ask them for feedback and insights
  4. You follow-up on their suggestions and let them know how you have handled each suggestion
  5. You give them a sneak preview of the product before its' official public launch
  6. You invite them to the private, exclusive event to launch the new product
  7. You communicate publicly that the customer was instrumental in helping you develop some of the features of this new product

Which customer do you think will be loyal and more likely to refer you new customers, the one who you took through the seven steps above or the one you simply sent an online survey?

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