Let’s start by asking an important question–what’s one of the main reasons why shoppers willing spend more on competitors?
When customers believe they’re getting top-of-the-line product or an item from a trusted brand, shoppers dig deeper into their pockets. In fact, a 2018 Deloitte holiday shopping habits report found when it comes to the importance of a product, 71% of respondents said they look for high-quality items and trusted brands when buying.
So how would you rate your product quality? Are you confident in saying you offer the best in your industry? If you’re realistic, you know that product quality is something that requires constant testing, improvement and customer feedback to know how to make your customers happier.
No brand or retailer is perfect, but those who let product quality slide to the back burner, will more likely see problems reoccur. So what kind of problems?
Here’s four reasons your product quality can make or break your business in today’s market what you can do to fix it:
1. Your Reputation Precedes You
It’s no secret that people talk about your brand online. What they say can make you a hero or a villain. And in a super connected world, it doesn’t take long for a customer experience to trend on Twitter.
You don’t have to spend too much time to think of a brand that’s earned negative press recently. Sadly, it’s a little harder thinking of a company highlighted in a positive way for their customer experiences.
Your brand reputation means everything when it takes just a single poor experience to derail your customer satisfaction strategy. To combat this, brands are interacting more frequently to create positive experiences.
— Blue Apron (@blueapron) March 22, 2019
While Blue Apron regularly interacts with customers’ positive tweets, the company also addresses issues and any product flaws. By immediately answering questions or concerns, users know the team is putting in the effort to create a good experience and a better reputation.
Hi Jordan! We're so sorry to hear you're missing a box. Can you send us a DM so we can investigate? Thank you!https://t.co/6Yj1LfK3Ex
— Blue Apron (@blueapron) March 20, 2019
The quality of the product or service you provide has a huge impact on what people say about you. In fact, the Sprout Social Q3 2017 Index found 37% of shoppers will share a positive social experience online with friends and family. What’s even better is 45% will share a positive brand experience on social media.
It doesn’t take long for these positive experiences to move through your customers’ feeds and in turn, define your reputation. Whether it’s good or bad, brands have to ensure reputations are in check by answering concerns on social and creating more paths for feedback.
2. Satisfied Customers Will Come Back for More
Satisfied customers are the end goal for most brands and retailers, right? It’s important to know how closely brand loyalty and product quality are tied together, especially for Gen Z shoppers.
In a Yes Marketing survey, the company saw 57% of Gen Z shoppers directly linked quality to brand loyalty. Younger generations continue to get wiser with how they spend.
This will only translate to increased revenue for brands focusing on product quality–as long as they’re good enough for people to keep coming back. Another study from BIA Advisory revealed that 61% of SMBs get more than half of their revenue from repeat customers rather than new customers.
Zenni Optical offers affordable eyewear and frequently highlights its customers who have collections and love to show off more than one pair of frames. The brand’s message is clear and they prove through a quality product, they offer affordable frames and still have style.
View this post on Instagram
New glasses alert 🚨 thanks to Zenni Optical. The options are limitless. The quality is 👍🏾 . Customer service is 👍🏾 #zennioptical #debtfreejourney #debtfreecommunity #debtfreecommunity #debtfree #daveramsey #daveramseybudget #singlemom #singlemomlife #cashisking #cash #moneysavingtips #savingmoney #frugalliving #moneymanagement #everypennycounts #financialfreedom #financialpeace #debt #moneymanagement #budgetwithme #debtfreemafia #personalfinance #babysteps #wednesday #wisdomwednesday
When you look to improve the quality of the products you provide, people will constantly come back for more. Thus, you’ll have a more valuable customer base and higher revenue.
Set Yourself From the Rest
What are the standards for product quality in your industry? How can you go above and beyond them?
Taking the extra step to consistently improve shows customers you’re not only trusted, but invested in higher quality products. Consumers appreciate when brands are able to improve and make items better with quick turn arounds.
For example, you may not think that much could be done to improve a standard bicycle lock. However, Lattis created an innovative lock that goes above and beyond with GPS tracking, keyless locking and solar panels for self-charging.
A Lab42 report discovered 84% of shoppers want brands to be innovative with their products. By consistently improving your product quality, you get ahead of your competition and further stand out in your industry.
3. Builds a Foundation for Word-of-Mouth Marketing
If you haven’t read our word-of-mouth marketing strategy, bookmark it now! By enabling your fans to do the heavy lifting in your marketing efforts, you draw more traffic to your products by promoting customer voices.
At the same time, you save on friends telling one another the benefits of your business. So how do you build this foundation for your customers to communicate and engage with your business?
Some of the best ways to engage your fans through word of mouth include:
- Creating a branded hashtag: By using a social media platform that best works for your customers, you can create a hashtag that encourages your fans to share, shoutout and have a say about your product with the rest of the world. Push branded hashtags in marketing campaigns, contests and product launches.
- Promote fan feedback: When you get fans to write review content, you’re not only promoting communication, but you also get detailed product insights at the same time. It should always be encourages to write authentic reviews, but when you work with your loyalists, you can expect more truthful content.
- Product Sampling Campaigns: Brands continue to see success in product sampling campaigns to build communities of trusted advocates and everyday influencers to promote your brand. What better way to get your brand out there than to provide a sample with simple guidelines to write reviews, give feedback and share across social? BzzAgent does just this. See how a community of millions of shoppers can help spread the word about your newest products.
Trust Your Quality to Spark More Conversations
While data from an Invesp infographic shows 88% of shoppers put the most faith in word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know, what gets them to talk in the first place? One of the best ways to start a word-of-mouth marketing strategy is to put effort behind a product people know they can trust to tell all their friends and family about.
When you offer a great product, people will feel naturally motivated to refer others. This is the kind of marketing that money can’t buy: it’s truly priceless.
4. Learn from Everything You Do (Both Right & Wrong)
By learning from your customers, you’re better equipped to build a foundation of quality in all your products. Your shoppers want to know their buying decisions were right and that they can trust to come back to you in the future.
Know what worked in past campaigns and take those insights into future products. You have to start by learning who your customers are and what they want. A Salesforce report found only 37% of shoppers believe retailers understand them and their needs.
This should tell you that consumers want the personalization and experience to match what they’re already saying about you. People want authenticity and it starts with you simply listening.
Tune In to Your Product Reviews
One of the best places to listen to your customers and understand what they’re already saying is through product reviews. This content gives you some incredible ideas to how improve your product quality and what they want from you.
If you’re getting hundreds of reviews on your products, it could take you hours to analyze and draw ideas for product improvements. This is why so many brands avoid using the manpower to dig and sift through product reviews.
To fix that issue, PowerReviews launched the review analysis tool Product Pulse to save brands time by analyzing review data per product. Collecting all of this data is as simple as gathering and collecting reviews and tracking the sentiment based around them.
Product Pulse lets you dig through common adjectives, link them to sentiment and discover what your customers really think of your products. This kind of data also help you find areas to improve products, so start listening now.
Make Popular Features Even Better
But if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
It’s true that if you have a feature or a product that people really love, you don’t want to tamper with it too much. However, making data-based improvements on a feature that is already popular can make the whole user experience pop.
We’ve announced new commitments to reduce plastic packaging in U.S. private brands. Read how we’re working to make recycling easier: https://t.co/SLmiZHCa3H pic.twitter.com/TAWEAZ7lZN
— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) February 26, 2019
Try to improve a feature that your customers already love by:
- Understanding how customers use your feature or product
- Gathering data and customer feedback where the biggest issues and success stories exist
- Finding ways to improve the way a product does what it’s simply made for
By following a few of these tips, you deliberately improve the focused on expanding a feature than just fixing issues. Know what you do best and always look for room to grow.
Your Product Quality Matters: Can You Improve?
Product quality has a huge affect on the success of your business. Bad-quality items ruin your reputation online, whereas improving your product quality builds trust in your customers, set you apart from the competition and can even lower return rates.
Remember, improving your product quality is a constant process. You need to be aware of what people are saying about you online, whether in reviews or on social media, in order to take action and boost sales.
By following these steps, your products (and your business) will finally be able to reach and exceed their potential.