When was the last time you surveyed your customers? Do you know their wants, needs, requirements, points of interest, and more importantly, pain points? It’s relatively easy to make assumptions about your customers’ experiences, and most of us do it on a daily basis. But what really makes them tick?
If you aren’t sure why your customers choose to buy from you, it’s safe to say you’re in a place of vulnerability. There are thousands of competing alternatives – if you aren’t continuously building rapport with your customers, sooner or later they’ll find someone else who will.
A day in the life. No, I’m not talking about that amazing Beatles song from 1967. I’m talking about a day in the life of your customers; a.k.a., voice of the customer. You, as well as your competitors, are probably surveying customers by mail or email for feedback on services provided, and that’s a great first step. How much more valuable would it be to get firsthand, open feedback from your customers about not only what services you’ve provided them, but also the opportunity to dig deeper into their day-to-day experiences?
At this point you should be thinking about opportunities to upsell and cross-sell which is, again, a great first step. You should also be thinking about the invaluable knowledge you can gain through a conversation with open-ended answers, dialogue and honesty.
What’s interesting is how little you may hear from customers. Not because they aren’t interested in getting to know you, but because they’re busy, just like you. The only time you likely do hear from them is when things go awry. Social media allows customers to contact business organizations directly, and publically. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, etc., be sure that you or someone in your organization (hopefully the PR department) address any gripes head-on. Take them as opportunities to display your superior customer service skills for all to witness!