Building Brand Loyalty Through Customer Listening with Rob Markey

April 27, 2020

rob markey on brand

“In times of crisis, as leaders, we often want to clamp down—command and control. We go into bunker mode.” However, customer loyalty is best built by closing the distance between a brand’s leadership and the front lines of employees and customers, explains Rob Markey of Bain & Company. We discussed all of this and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Rob Markey

Rob Markey is a partner in Bain & Company’s New York office and a leader in the firm’s Customer Strategy & Marketing practice. He is an expert in customer and employee loyalty, new product development, and customer service strategies.

Rob leads the NPS Loyalty Forum, a group of approximately 35 senior executives from loyalty-leading companies around the world, such as The Vanguard Group, American Express, JetBlue, Telstra, TD Bank, LEGO, Progressive Insurance, PwC, and Intuit. He has published numerous articles on various aspects of customer experience and loyalty in publications such as the Harvard Business Review. He is the co-author of The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World, by Harvard Business Review Press, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Rob earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Episode Highlights

How can brands build loyalty in times of crisis? “The brands that are succeeding are those that give their employees and customers a voice,” Rob shared.

Leadership lessons from Stanley McChrystal. Recently, Rob had the opportunity to interview General Stanley McChrystal on his podcast. “In a crisis, the biggest mistake you can make is to assume you know the conditions on the ground.” Here’s a link to the interview and the podcast.

There are four mechanisms for opening communication between leadership and the front lines. Actually, Rob shared six but we spent a lot of time talking about the value of structured listening, small huddles of employees, and direct follow up with individual customers.

What brand has made Rob smile recently? “I’m doing a lot of cooking lately so Williams Sonoma.” Rob shared a story about how the found him with the right product, in the right place, at the right time. I pointed out that smiles are contagious and went and connected Williams Sonoma as well.

To learn more about Rob, check out his writing on the Bain & Company website and his recent work on customer value.

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.