By Steve Ingram, Director – KIT.

The European Super League created the wrong form of excitement when it launched this week. Instead of thrill and anticipation, it caused unparalleled friction and anger among football fans up and down the country. The 12-team set up, featuring six clubs from the English premier league, with the remainder from Italy and Spain, wanted to go it alone and develop a midweek competition. The plans were scorned upon and dismissed quickly as a greedy cash cow for the owners’ good – not the fans.

Within less than 48 hours of being announced, it did provide unprecedented levels of entertainment as the rolling news service fed viewers details on the ups and downs of the world’s shortest-lived football league. Like rats of a sinking ship, the six English clubs withdrew one by one, highlighting the fact that each had no idea what their fan base wanted.

The importance of knowing your customer’s needs

Let’s apply the same thinking to an established high street brand. What if a department store decided to remove all its changing room facilities and replace the area with a sushi bar? Some customers may like the idea, whereas others may not, but consulting with its customer base first, before making any decision, regardless of the size of the transition, will provide the insight needed to make an informed choice.

It is not that the customer is always right. It is simply down to the fact that some may not want the change. By consulting and speaking to the customer, any business can review, discuss and plan changes to benefit everyone involved – and not make a change based on a hunch or, even worse, a money-making exercise.

Clienteling software is the perfect platform to capture what the customer likes and dislikes, which will help inform retailers of what works and does not in a store.

Retailers that have invested in Clienteling technology, such as KIT, have given themselves the best opportunity to truly understand what their customers would want and how they would feel about such changes.

Communication in all forms is at the heart of solutions like KIT: email, messaging (including SMS, WhatsApp and WeChat, for example), and video are all standard tools. What would be easier than using these tools to collect the invaluable opinions of your regular customers?

Integration with advanced customer experience tools, which can gather opinions via surveys or AI-based sentiment analysis of messages, makes complete feedback a simple and straightforward exercise. It means that you can make decisions knowing how they are likely to be received and therefore give your regular customers the feeling of being part of that decision making process.

Some customers may want an in-store sushi bar at their favourite department store but not at the cost of the changing room facilities. They may even want a bespoke gardening department or eye waxing section, but you will fall into the same trap as the supposed big six football clubs in England unless you understand your customer and what they want.