Customer-Centric Philosophy Petco has a very strong personnel policy and code of ethics which put animals first. They focus on hiring animal lovers first regardless of their retail experience. Hiring animal lovers first gives the employee a better opportunity to establish a relationship with the customer. Then they have a great employee training program focusing on animal care then on customer relations. Their strategy is one that focuses on both customer and employee engagement.
Employee engagement is very important in this process because an employee who has a voice and is treated well is more likely to treat the customer better. They know that the type of customer they attract has a deep loyalty to their animals. They try to demonstrate this same sense of loyalty to animals; which is appealing to their customers. Their customer review capability on their website gives the customer a feeling that their opinions are important. This also gives the customer the ability to be a member of a “community” and share advice with other animal lovers.
More importantly, they take action on some of the reviews. They reconsider product lines and make improvements in their stores based upon the reviews. If customers are going to take the time to go to the website and write a review they want to know that it is going to matter. Customer Reviews After reviewing several products I was very surprised to find that most of the reviews were four or five stars. This is surprising because the people that complain tend to be more vocal. In fact, I did not see any many products with less than three paw reviews.
This could be because Petco takes action on negative reviews and possibly removes the items receiving poor reviews from their inventory. There are several reviews that Petco could use in their advertising and since this is a form of Data Mining they can use the information collected in the reviews to focus their e-mail advertising on specific groups of customers. I found many reviews that gave detailed information about the product. The information included the type of pet the product was purchased for, the ease in putting the product together, how well the product was made and the durability of the product.
Using the customer feedback in advertising is a great marketing strategy and with today’s technology it is inexpensive and easy to gather this information. Consumers trust the opinions of their neighbor much more than the opinion of a large sometimes faceless company. By using this strategy they have developed a neighborhood type environment bring pet lovers together. Customer Types and Promotions Petco has determined that women are the most likely consumer to write a review on their website. This makes sense because they tend to be more dedicated to their pets and perform more research when making a purchase.
Most men are not “shoppers” they just go the local store and buy what is available and would not be as likely to write a review. Since it is women who are the highest percentage of consumers participating on their website they should tailor their advertising to this type of consumer. Using their website data they can determine which products are hot sellers and use this data to promote these products. They should create advertising that is more appealing to these consumers by looking at the interests of the consumer and determining what is important to them.
In a sense this gives them the ability to get to know their customers personalities and enables them to market better to these customers. There is a fine line in this marketing strategy. The key is to maintain the current customer base while expanding this base to other consumers. I think it is also important to determine why certain customers do not shop at their stores. They have to be able to focus their marketing towards their current customers without alienating other customers and also attempt to draw in new customers. Company Websites and Customer Reviews
It is difficult to understand why other companies do not use customer reviews on their websites; it is an inexpensive way to gather feedback about not only products but the company itself. This also gives the company the ability to gather more information about their consumers. One reason could be that some companies have a limited supply chain and negative feedback could be more damaging to their sales. I would argue that there are many benefits to giving consumers the ability to post reviews, this is a very inexpensive way to market their company and products.
It gives the company the ability to gather data on their consumers to help determine how to market current and future products. The company would have the ability to pass this information along to their suppliers so that improvements can be made to their products. This would result in better reviews and higher sales. Relationships and loyalty are very important and these are hard to develop with a large company, these types of posts gives the customer a greater sense of importance and involvement with these companies. This can result in the consumer having a feeling that they are not just a customer but also a partner.