In today’s highly competitive marketplace, great service is the key to attracting and retaining customers and ensuring your business will thrive and grow. But how closely is your idea of what constitutes good service aligned with your customers’ perceptions of good service?
The best way to answer that question is to take steps to understand your customers better. So, here are 3 ways you can start to find out more about exactly what it is that your customers want from you.
Look at your business through your customers’ eyes
Take a cold hard look to see what they see and experience your business from their point of view. Not only the physical environment of your business but every point of contact they have – phone, email, website, social media, and even order delivery.
Speed and efficiency are highly valued by busy customers – so assess how much focus you’re placing on not wasting their valuable time.
For example, you may see your team working hard while under considerable pressure, and feel proud of their efforts. Your customer just knows they have to wait in line to get served, spend hours on the phone trying to get through to the right person or wait days to receive their order.
You may be proud of your automatic call handling which helps deal with inquiries more efficiently – customers may hate listening to the endless robotic menu, only to be told, after pressing their choice, there’s no one available to take their call. Then being told that their call is so important to you – they should call back later!
It’s also worthwhile checking out your competitors. How do they handle calls, and how long do they take to respond to emails? When someone posts a comment on their social media page, how do they respond? What are they doing better than you? Be vigilant and use any feedback a customer gives you about any competitor as an opportunity to raise your game and outshine them
Use your CRM
Leverage the information in your CRM (customer relationship management) system, by analyzing your performance – how well do you respond to phone queries and how painless is the purchasing procedure? If you have a call tracking system in place, especially one that provides speech analytics, it can be invaluable in helping you identify the reasons for calls, how well your team responds, extracting patterns and keywords to help you target your marketing more efficiently.
Customer surveys can provide valuable insights into how your customers see you. Keep them short and easy to complete, but also provide an opportunity for people to express their opinions.
Ensure you find a way to thank them for their input. Importantly, if you do make changes based on their feedback – acknowledge publicly that you have learned and improved.
If it’s practical, asking key customers to participate in a focus group can provide powerful insights. Virtual meetings can help you understand, not only any recurring pain-points but also what it is about your business that keeps them engaged enough to invest their time in helping you.