Loyalty Equals Growth for Sony

Here’s an interesting article from1:1 Media on how even a well established company like Sony wants to be customer-centric:

At last week’s Conference Board Customer Loyalty conference, Sony Electronics Senior Vice President of Service Platfom Dan Wiersma asked attendees how many of them owned Sony devices. Every hand in the room went up.

So why would a company like Sony, which has so many customers, look at customer-focused initiatives to drive loyalty? “Customer loyalty is the pathway to long-term sustainable growth,” he said. Even a company as successful as Sony can’t rest on its laurels as competitors flood the marketplace. “Technology is still important, but the customer experience is critical.”

Sony discovered that customers have very high expectations of quality across the customer experience, from the products themselves to the packaging. “In some cases the packaging inside the box was just a pile of papers,” Wiersma said. “Customers expected something more sophisticated and organized from Sony.”

In another example, Sony discovered that customers shopping in a Sony Style store consider it a high-end experience. They wanted a nice box and bag for their purchases, so they could walk around showing off their purchase [à la the very recognizable Tiffany’s blue bag.] As a result, in November the company redesigned its Vaio computer box and reorganized its packaging. As an added touch, each box now contains a thank-you card from Vaio’s senior general manager, containing his direct phone number and email address.

These are just some of the first steps in Sony’s loyalty journey, Wiersma said. While the Vaio product group has been very aggressive with its loyalty strategy, some other groups are a little slower to take action. In addition, Sony plans to start working with retailers to identify and interact with the majority of Sony consumers who remain anonymous.

Wiersma hopes to keep internal momentum going with assigned “loyalty leads” for each business unit to help support the loyalty strategy. Sony has also set up an internal website called Customer Experience Excellence, where every employee can view loyalty data such as customer verbatims, survey results, and business unit action plans. “It gives employees the opportunity to leverage their capabilities and compare themselves to other business units,” Wiersma said.


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At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
July 2008
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