With the rise in internet technologies and the development of the horizontal revolution, brands run into issues in regards to controlling customer loyalty. Case in point: with online shopping, consumers now document their opinions about a brand’s products. Positive reviews help cultivate significant customer loyalty. However, the inverse is also a reality as these new internet technologies might also be threatening customer loyalty. With so many product reviews available to potential buyers, customers are shifting between brands to get the best-rated, most-popular product. Customers feel less brand loyalty when “their” brand is not producing the product they want or to the quality they expect. To counter this, brands and product designers must empathize with their customers through their product’s design.
Building empathy into your product design is an important step for IT brands.IT firms are very adept at developing innovative, functional technology. However, to achieve true success, that functional technology must be both applicable and useful to its target buyer. Additionally, disorganized customer service experiences also influence customer empathy and erode product loyalty. A well-known success story for good customer loyalty and empathy includes the success of the online shoe-shopping company, Zappos. By offering a quick, easy way to purchase shoes in your size online, Zappos succeeded in outstanding customer attention and empathy.
Monitoring customer feedback has become a powerful tool for IT brands to gain and retain customers. Tracking and analyzing customer feedback helps IT brands in a number of ways. First, it helps them design and create the best product for their market. Secondly, feedback associated with a service or a continually updated product (i.e. the iPhone) help brands make necessary modifications that support both product enhancement and customer retention. Finally, identifying consistently positive feedback from certain individuals can help an IT brand identify “advocates” who can serve as sounding boards for future modification or enhancements. Properly utilizing customer feedback significantly supports sales growth, an improved brand image, and customer loyalty.