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Featured Story | Written by Stuart Banbery
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A customer-centric mindset, not a model

A renewed emphasis on true customer-centricity is set to be a cornerstone strategy for leading organisations in 2018. We explore how we have built Orlo around real customer needs - helping us grow to thousands of global users.

17 Sep - 9 min read

Real customer needs

Building your organisation and its functions based on real customer needs, rather than archaic structures and technology, is the sign of a management team that listens, understands, and then responds. So, we’re really delighted that Orlo has been shortlisted as a finalist at the Institute of Customer Services awards in the “customer feedback strategy” category.

I wanted to share the story of how customer-centricity began, and evolved, at Orlo – and why we have been recognised by the Institute of Customer Service…please allow us this one indulgence! It was the summer of 2012 and entrepreneurs Ben Nimmo and Nick Wood identified a gap in the market for a social media management platform that was built on a true partnership between buyer and supplier – going against the grain compared to those organisations where the relationship is very transactional.

Fast-forward five years and we work more closely than ever with our diverse customers to ensure that the evolution of our product and service offering remains truly aligned to their changing needs, and those of their customers. this is a growing trend globally, with 60% of businesses in america will be aligning their budgets to more customer experience related strategies in 2018.

We work hard to ensure our client feedback loop is as short as possible, allowing Orlo to be agile, quickly pivoting when a new customer need arises or when the social networks implement a change or new feature. The value that this approach provides reaffirms daily that customer-centricity must always sit at the centre of all of our operations – making it not just a model, but a mindset.

Building around the customer

After extensive customer research, one of the first changes we made was to offer unlimited 1-2-1 online training sessions for every single customer during the entire period of their contract with us. Social media teams and customer service teams are notorious for high attrition rates – coupled with the fact that Orlo is such a feature-rich platform – that in order for businesses and individuals to create real social ROI, they needed the option of ongoing refresher training.

It also means that new employees are always supported in getting up to speed, confident and are quickly hitting their KPI’s. All users have ownership to book these training sessions themselves, selecting their own training topics and without the need to get management involved. Virgin Trains was just one client that found this particularly useful.

The next innovation was adding real-time live chat support within the Orlo platform. Marketing and customer service teams are such fast-paced departments, and part of the unique power of social media is it’s real-time nature, that logging a support email and waiting 3 days for a response was no longer an option for our customers.

Live chat support enables us to support our customers in real-time, as they support their own customers on social media in real-time. Providing live chat support from within the Orlo platform means that we can answer customers queries in a seamless way, as they arise. in order for this new support channel to gain traction with customers and become their default way to talk to us, we needed to ensure we delivered the strongest first experience on this new customer service channel, meaning fast response times and effective resolutions.

Measuring success

At the end of every live chat interaction and in keeping with our ethos of “powerfully simple”, customers are encouraged to rate the quality of the chat by clicking on one of five emoji faces, which range from happy to sad. A customer can also give a more detailed response if they want to.

Similarly, at the end of each online training session the customer is asked to rate the quality of the training session in relation to the objectives that were set at the start. The platform usage of the customer receiving training is then monitored to assess if they are using the area of the platform for which they had training – with feedback and further support provided if necessary.

Our KPI's

We have a number of KPI’s that we track to understand if our customer feedback strategy is truly adding value to our customers.

1. Adoption rates

Orlo had a 93% adoption rate for 2017. this means that 93% of user licenses sold have been activated, indicating high levels of adoption for the platform across teams and organisations.

2. Usage rates

85% of clients increased their usage of the platform in 2017. from those clients that have increased their usage, 86% have increased by 50% or more.

3. Customer retention

Since implementing the new feedback strategy and customer support features, retention rates have averaged over 86%, peaking at 93%.

4. Live chat response times

This has been driven down from to 1 minute since it was launched, with live chat enquiries increasing by 57% over the 2017 calendar year, as customers see this as their default way to talk to us.

At the heart of what we do

Hopefully, that’s given you a brief insight into why we recognised early-on that real customer-centricity is so important, and why it will always sit at the heart of what we do and who we are.

Stuart Banbery is the Marketing Director at Orlo, he has a background spanning multiple industries and is responsible for all strategic and brand operations. Stuart is passionate about helping organisations harness the power emotional connections to create powerful customer experiences. Outside of work Stuart loves outdoor pursuits, travelling and is a keen Triathlon competitor.

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