If only we all had a crystal ball, could see into our customers’ minds and know for sure exactly what they need and want in order to be truly happy with our products and services. This is a perennial challenge for any business, large or small. Corporations sometimes spend millions on surveys, focus groups and market research in attempts to get inside their clients’ heads. Smaller businesses without the same level of resources may have to rely on more organic methods, such as social media, loyalty campaigns or competitions to gain vital feedback. Whatever the case, there are certain practices that, if followed, will give any business a head start towards creating a loyal base of happy customers:
It’s hard to increase something that you don’t know much about to begin with. Measuring customer satisfaction if the first step towards being able to devise strategies to improve the way that your existing and potential customers will feel about your brand, products and services. If your company has a mobile app, a can be a perfect way to get the right feedback directly from your users. Armed with the relevant information, you can then avoid the guess work in favour of to ensure that you are delivering the experience that your customers want.
Before you rush to push out that customer satisfaction survey, it is certainly worth having a very long, hard think about what you are actually going to ask. A can make the difference between success and failure. On a general level, it is important to ensure that the survey itself strikes the right balance between being concise enough to get users to buy in, but also detailed enough to get sufficiently useful information. The next step is to think extremely carefully about the exact nature and wording of each question. The questions must be structured in such a way as to avoid bias if you are going to get useful information back.
Once you have the feedback that you need, waste no time if getting to work to improve the areas of your business that need tweaking to better meet the wants and needs of your customers. The same applies to any feedback received in person, on social media, or other online forums such as reviews, etc.. Remember that even if the customer is irate, they are telling you something valuable about how you can improve your business. It may not be something that you particularly wish to hear, however, is far more important than how the customer became dissatisfied in the first place. Always be polite, always be apologetic, even if you feel they are being unreasonable, and always offer to fix the problem. The benefits in being perceived as willing to go the extra mile will far outweigh the cost of whatever you need to do to placate the dissatisfied client.
Ultimately, it is customers that pay your salary. So, technically they really are your boss. We all want to impress our bosses and keep them happy even if we don’t particularly like them. In the same way, if you treat every client like they are your boss, they will feel special, and you will get yourself a fabulous performance review.
Managing is a complex and difficult task. However, if done correctly, it can make the world of difference to how your target market sees you. No customer walks into McDonald’s expecting a 5-course gourmet dinner, right? However, if you set the expectations at champagne and deliver orange juice, you will get grumpy customers every time. Let them know to expect OJ and get it right, and they will be perfectly happy
Hopefully, these tips have provided you with a useful place to start. Whatever methodology you employ, identifying, measuring and addressing issues around customer service can be the key that unlocks the potential of your business.