angel 2

When I was a child, halos were a very good thing. A sign of angels, as if the wings weren’t enough of a clue.

When I got into market research, halos were not perceived as such a good thing. The “halo effect” meant that people got so excited about a particular aspect of a product or service that they couldn’t “accurately” rate its other attributes. One product would be highly rated on every attribute when people in the know knew that wasn’t “true.”

As a younger market researcher, I would struggle to answer how to get “accurate” answers if a product had a “halo effect” going.

Now, I think the real question is: How do we create a halo effect for our products and services, such that our customers and prospects love us so much that they think we are great at everything? The secret, of course, is to find out what creates the halo effect.

One of the things I’ve noticed in my own non-market research business experience is how little changes can make a big difference in customer perceptions – changes I wouldn’t have made if I didn’t have a process for ongoing customer feedback. Comments went from “that’s kinda weird” to “it’s so fabulous” when I made what I considered to be a minor adjustment. What took me 30 to 45 minutes to change made a huge difference in customer satisfaction. Satisfaction turned to delight.

I watched a TED talk from one of the AirBnB founders, and he said they started achieving exponential growth when they started regularly talking to their hosts, using their feedback to make adjustments to their processes and business model. Now they and most other services like theirs have an immediate rating system, with reviews, comments and private feedback to hosts.

AirBnB now has a halo.

At this time of year, there are a lot of halos around. Many of them are in Christmas plays worn by the cutest little kids you’ll ever see.

It is possible to create your own halo, that, real or imagined, will carry your products, services and companies to new heights. Let’s find out how, together.

Have a blessed Holiday Season. And give any little angels you know a big hug.