November 29


Lessons from Leaders – Paula Courtney

David Millay

November 29, 2021

consumer behavior, customer experience, customer loyalty, fan engagement, fan experience, fandom, sports business, sports marketing, Verde Group

This week on Flip the Switch, we are joined by Paula Courtney, CEO of the Verde Group.  Partnering with many Fortune 100 companies, the Verde Group brings unique methods to studying consumer behavior and improving the customer experience. Rather than asking “How was your experience?” Paula and her team probe for customer dissatisfaction. Their research has demonstrated that innovating off of points of friction and restoring consumer confidence have a greater financial impact on organizations. 

Here are three strategies to knowing your customer and protecting their trust:

Five Key Elements to a Customer’s Choice – (6:43)

Consumer behavior has evolved at an expedited rate since the start of the pandemic. Many executives are looking towards digital transformation initiatives to try and keep up. If you’re trying to exceed customer expectations amidst evolving fan or customer behaviors, ask yourself these questions:

How relevant are you to your customer? How shoppable is your business? What is your customer support? What is the sensorial experience? How meaningful is your brand to your customer’s personal brand?

The only currency in business that matters is trust – (29:03)

When you have an upset customer actively surfacing a complaint, you’re at a pivotal moment. You’re now being judged for the original failure and how you handle the complaint. According to research done by Paula’s team, with any result less than complete satisfaction, customer loyalty drops by at least 40%.

When a customer reaches out to you to complain, they’re doing so because they have some level of trust with you. They trust you’ll resolve their issue (those without trust won’t reach out, they will simply stop doing business with you). When you exceed their expectations in the resolution, you validate their trust and strengthen their trust further than had there not been a problem in the first place.

Investigate customers’ negative emotions instead of positive emotions – (16:45)

If you look at your post-event or post-season survey, you likely have an “applause meter” question, a question asking some version of “how much do you love us?” The problem with those widely-accepted CX questions is they don’t prioritize what to fix first, they don’t provide actionable findings. And they certainly don’t link directly to financial impacts, such as finding out what a lost customer costs you or giving you a better idea of ROI on investments.

Instead, by focusing on measuring the prevalence and drivers of customer dissatisfaction, you can find out how much business you’re losing and where you should invest future resources for the greatest payback. 

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