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How Customer Centricity Became Linkdex’s Most Powerful Asset

April 18, 2016

How Customer Centricity Became Linkdex’s Most Powerful Asset

The following is a piece written by BrandHook Managing Partner Paul Dixon on the agency’s work with SEO platform provider Linkdex. For more information on Linkdex and the great work they do, visit their website here

As an independent brand research agency, BrandHook divides its time between many things. Innovating new products for time-poor mothers, understanding the barriers to purchasing beer online in Europe and even mapping out the customer experience for a comparison website provider are just a few of the proverbial irons in the proverbial fire. So when Linkdex approached us to gain a better understanding of their customers and prospects, our minds turned from baby food and shifted towards immersing ourselves in the world and needs of SEO specialists and organisations looking to get more out of their existing product suite.

To deliver a research program that would not only measure the current customer sentiment but help develop a roadmap based on the customer needs, we needed to bring Linkdex on the journey by spending time with key internal stakeholders to broadly address the following questions:

  1. How do you view Linkdex today and where should Linkdex be in the future?
  2. What do you know about your current customer and what do you need to know?
  3. What are the internal barriers that Linkdex needs to overcome and what external forces does Linkdex need to recognise?
  4. What point of difference does Linkdex have in the competitive market and why is that important to customers?

Consolidating the viewpoints from Senior Management, Marketing, Product, Sales and the Account Management team, BrandHook was able to design a research program that would deliver insight into where Linkdex is positioned today, where the opportunities would be in the future and most importantly, why it was all important to customers.

Wave 1

Wave 1 of the ongoing research program both validated some of the initial hypotheses and prioritised a clear direction for Linkdex to better meet the needs of its customer base. At a very top-line level, key findings included:

  1. A positive Net Promoter Score (NPS) is not only a phenomenal accomplishment (Linkdex achieved an NPS of +9 whereas Bank of America is -24 in the US and Netflix in the UK rated +13) but an opportunity to harness the advocates.
  2. Correlating the way in which customers use the Linkdex products and their importance to their business, gave Linkdex a prioritised roadmap of where the immediate focus should be – in particular, reporting.
  3. The definition of what constitutes the overall ideal relationship customers want with an SEO platform. This definition was then overlaid with the performance of not only Linkdex but major competitors, and this identified:
    1. The unrivalled strength of Linkdex’s Account Management and consultative sales team
    2. The relationship factors that were not only most important, but also needed improvement: the UX/UI of the platform
    3. The core relationship offerings that needed to be maintained: extensive depth and breadth of data and subsequent ability to drill into the data

Upon completion of the research, the customer had not only been bought into the Linkdex boardroom but was now instrumental in all aspects of the business planning – from leveraging the Account Management, development of the product innovation, prioritisation of UI/UX and clear differentiation between the competitive set.

Wave 2

Fast forward 6 months and Linkdex had developed UX/UI solutions based on the research findings. To continue the ongoing collaboration with customers, BrandHook ran customer immersion sessions where we sat with customers in their workplace, and understood the day-to-day challenges, frustrations and barriers not only with the current platform, but in their roles overall. We also road-tested the proposed solution to gain a better understanding of the impact it would have on their daily lives. While the response to the prototypes were overwhelming positive, the real insight was how to execute the launch of the platform – leverage the Account Management team (who are already creating advocates) and follow up with training and support that recognises the varied challenges customers feel on a day-to-day basis.

Wave 2 of the research launched after the new platform roll-out and validated the investment in customer feedback. Highlights included:

  • NPS remained positive, satisfaction with Linkdex increased and usage (which drives advocacy) across all Linkdex products increased significantly (e.g. whereas 25% of customers were using Content 360 at least once a week, in Wave 2, this was 40%, Page Analysis grew from 21% to 45%, etc.).
  • While Account Management continued to set Linkdex apart from the competitive set, the platform was now seen as best in class for the overall platform, product offering, customer service and brand & reputation.

The 2nd wave of research also identified how the relationship between Linkdex and its customers had changed. What they wanted from Linkdex was no longer reporting and platform solutions that made it easy to use (these were now hygiene factors), instead customers wanted support and guidance on getting the most out of the complex and detailed data that Linkdex provided above and beyond competitive offerings. Armed with this knowledge, this now becomes the customer priority for Linkdex moving forward.

The customer, regardless of whether they are purchasing baby food or ordering beer online for the first time, is ever-changing and often demanding and it’s only when you have these continual conversations with them, that you can truly understand them. The investment that Linkdex has made in the customer, the willingness to take their feedback and implement strategies based around it, and the transparency in which they show how the research guides business decisions, all add up to demonstrate the extent of Linkdex’s customer centricity.

Understanding the nuances and complexities of SEO might have been more challenging than understanding our time-poor Mums, but the way in which Linkdex have adopted customer feedback into all aspects of their business, is testament to how to truly embrace the customer, and the impact it can make to a business’ bottom line.

Mark Smith, CEO of Linkdex, said “We were both thrilled with the quality of BrandHook’s work and, equally, with just how well the new version of Linkdex has been received by our clients. Having an independent third party quantify just how thrilled our users are with the platform represents the advance in quality we’ve made at Linkdex, and that its position as market leader in the SEO industry is further solidified”.

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