Why customers need to feel good: Marketing and customer experience insights from AgCatalyst 2016


This post is the second in a three-part series exploring top takeaways from AgCatalyst 2016, a marketing and communications conference focused on the agriculture and food industries. Read post one on the how to becoming a high-performing marketer and post three on how food purchase decisions of millennial moms do not align with science. 

You may have heard the expression, “the customer is always right.” Not so, says Jay Baer, keynote speaker at AgCatalyst 2016 and President of a digital media and consulting company Convince & Convert. According to Baer, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”– @jaybaer”]”The customer is NOT always right, but should ALWAYS be heard.”[/inlinetweet]

Baer predicts that by 2020, business-to-business buying decisions will be made exclusively based on customer experience. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”– @jaybaer”]“How transactions make people feel will ultimately determine their choices.”[/inlinetweet]

Customer service is reactive. Customer experience is proactive.

Baer told AgCatalyst attendees that 80% of businesses say they deliver exceptional customer service, yet only 8% of their customers agree. Ignoring your customers who have a negative experience is a significant problem but also presents a unique opportunity. Baer says simply responding to a customer complaint can increase that customer’s advocacy for your brand by 60%.

The most important customers are the unhappy ones.

“To reduce complaints, you have to first get more complaints,” said Baer. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”– @jaybaer”]“Negative feedback and criticism are the raw materials of improvements.”[/inlinetweet]

Negative feedback and criticism are the raw materials for improvements

The best content comes from aligning the sales, marketing and customer services functions with outcomes of actual conversations with customers, explained Baer. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Embracing customer concern is creating a shift toward customer service as the “new” marketing.[/inlinetweet]

Making customers feel good matters at every touch point.

Baer wasn’t the only AgCatalyst speaker who stressed the importance of creating positive customer experiences.

Jen Strickler, Flint Group director of user experience, presented compelling reasons why interactive design must have a relentless focus on respecting users. And Shaun Crockett, creative director at our sister company AdFarm, demonstrated how virtual reality engages users by connecting their senses to the story to create meaningful and emotional experiences.

Does the way you do business provide exceptional customer experiences?

Pick up a copy of Baer’s book “Hug Your Haters” to learn more about how to create meaningful, memorable and positive experiences that will turn your customers into advocates.

And don’t forget to check out our other Ag Catalyst 2016 recap post on how to becoming a high-performing marketer.

Shawna Robinson

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