- Start a Business
- Business Ideas
- Business Financing
- Marketing & More
- About Idea Cafe
Customer Care: 4 Strategies To Show Your Customers You Are Really Listening
by Emma Sturgis Wed, 01/04/2017 - 11:14
More than even simple generosity alone, making your customers feel influential and sincerely valued guarantees a substantial investment of their trust and ongoing loyalty in nearly any scenario. Consider every study to have ever confirmed that it costs five times as much to earn a new customer's business as it does to retain a repeat patron. Overly simplified as it may seem, "The customer is always right" is more than a trite axiom about doing whatever it takes to keep your clientele happy. Consider it sound accounting advice.
Never forget that someone is always courting your customers somehow with a tempting offer tailored to send them walking out your door. If you won't make them feel as though their experiences mean everything to you, someone else will.
Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
Tell your customers how sorry you are and that you understand their frustration all you like. If you can't sincerely demonstrate as much with your approach to their problems, the will sense it and eventually get tired of the lip-service.
To put yourself in a customer's shoes, you have to listen intently and ask questions without making a single assumption. Reaching out and following through on lingering issues demonstrates not only that you and your staff take their dissatisfaction to heart as a reflection of your practices and products, but that you are intent on learning from their experiences in order to better your service. Remember, you are not waiting for an opening in which you can tender your reply. You have a golden opportunity make things right and earn another chance to provide a superior experience.
Open Up To Suggestions
Numerous businesses provide customer feedback forms or directions to automated websites and phone services where customers may provide their commentary on their experiences. Some even go an extra mile farther and offer a reasonably priced freebie in return for responses.
Do you know what entirely too few businesses come right out and explicitly solicit from customers? Ideas. It's well and good to provide forums where patrons can vent, but when was the last time someone actually asked you, "How can we improve?" When you ask, genuinely take an interest as your customer lets you know what needs remain unmet and how you could conveniently meet them. This is how full-fledged relationships begin. From there, take this dialogue to your company's blog and social media. Just don't sell short the importance of what you do next.
Leave No Doubt You Appreciate The Ideas
Your customers' voices are as crucial to propelling your business forward as anything you and your employees do. Reward them appropriately. Gifts or discounts are fantastic starting points, but we would suggest uplifting them as genuinely vital parts of your company's family who have contributed meaningfully to its identity. To say they are "a part of you" would be an understatement.
Start by replying directly and personally to the ideas they share. Your response should demonstrate that you gave it some immediate thought. From there, consider adding your customers directly to your advertising - with their consent, of course. Highlight their posts and recommendations on Twitter and Facebook, ideally along with a photo or at least an acknowledgment by name. There are few thrills in life quite like affirming that you have taken part in something greater than yourself and made a change that may positively affect others like you.
Just think: in one fell stroke, you could enrich your customers' lives with your sincere attention to how your company affects their lives and assure those same loyal fellow human beings that their words might just have moved a mountain and shifted the way a business sees itself.
Make Technology Your Friend
Modern advancements in communication have laid more influential tools at the feet of businesses worldwide than many entrepreneurs perhaps realize.
Many business relationship now rely heavily on technology and that is where most customer interactions and transactions take place. It’s important you use technology in your business transactions as well as customer interaction and feedback. If you interact with your customers online, you will show them that you care and take time to interact with them.
Ultimately, it's up to you to ask yourself: what am I missing by not thinking like a customer?