5 Reasons Why You Need to Be Listening to Your Customers, And Two Ways to Start Today

5 Reasons Why You Need to Be Listening to Your Customers, And Two Ways to Start Today

Listen to your customers

Collecting and measuring feedback are powerful agents for positive change. Voice of Customer is the in-depth process of capturing a customer’s feedback, measuring it, and acting upon it. Listening, capturing, and acting upon what your customers are saying about your business is a direct and effective way to increase customer satisfaction and drive business growth.

Here are 5 reasons why you should be listening to your customers.

1. Product Improvement
Product feature enhancements come from all directions: Product Managers, Corporate Strategists, Executives, and employees. But what about the customers? They should have a direct means to influence the improvements in the products/services they consume. In most cases, if one customer has a request, they are not alone. Wouldn’t it be great to have a high level of certainty that the next iteration of your product would be a success since you allowed your customers to directly impact your product roadmap? Salesforce Ideas is one way to capture and respond to customer requests, while also providing transparency to the roadmap.

2. Fine-Tune Service with Transactional SurveysSurvey your Customers
A natural point to survey customers is at the end of an interaction with your service organization. This is an ideal time to gather feedback about a specific process and what the customer’s thoughts were on how smooth the process was or how pleasant the interactions were. Surveys are a good way to gauge customer satisfaction, yet many seem inconvenient, complex, and lengthy. To increase response rates and ensure quality results, keep your surveys brief, simple, and be sure to avoid survey fatigue. Use the captured feedback as a tool to fine-tune your existing process and coach your staff.

3. Customers Lose Interest Quickly
It is important to survey customers at the correct moment of their interaction. Think about when you go to a movie theatre and the movie ends. Invariably the question of “What did you think of the movie?” comes up. The producers of the movie would love to hear and capture your direct feedback at that point. There is no reason why you should not solicit customer opinion at the end of transaction as well. Surveying a customer in a timely manner is a means to continue the conversation.

4. Turn Challenges into Opportunities
For example, let’s say a new computer monitor was purchased and the customer has stated in an online review that the monitor is too small and that they are dissatisfied with the purchase. This is a perfect opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a product champion by setting up a product exchange. At this point we can ask questions such as “was the description inaccurate?” or “were the pictures misleading?”. The answers can help change the buying experience of others. Moreover, the feeling of involvement and special attention the customer receives are more likely to turn them into a product champion.

5. Loyal Customers Are Key
Building a strong relationship with your customers should be a goal of all employees. Relationships are built around communication, engagement, and satisfaction. If the conversation is only coming from one side (business to customer), then the relationship does not have a strong foundation and will never grow. Listening is necessary for starting the relationship, and being engaging (mentioned above) is critical for nurturing it to maturity.

The benefits of listening to your customers are clear. Here are two ways you can incorporate Voice of Customer principles in your organization today.

1. Convert Unsatisfied Customers to Advocates

A. Identify 5 customers that did not have the greatest experience with your company and call them. Find out why they were not pleased. You may be surprised that many upset customers really just want to be heard. Give them the appropriate level of attention, apologize if necessary, and take their feedback seriously. Tell them their comments are appreciated, and will be used for positive change. Invite them to reassess your products and services. Start building a relationship that will move them from detracting to promoting.

2. Create Channels for Communications

A. In order to interact with customers, a company must create, open, and enhance clear channels of communication for their customers. Follow, listen, and engage customers on Social Media sites such as Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

B. Customer ideas come from many places: support phone lines, support emails, reviews, customer communities, surveys, and so on. Make these channels prominent. Do not hide them on your “About Us” or “Contact Us” web pages. They should have a dedicated space on your main page, and continue to follow the customer throughout your website. Make it really easy for your customers to provide feedback. Don’t wait, be proactive and solicit feedback.

George Guhr
George Guhr
Director of Sales at Internet Creations