Why should Small Businesses listen to their customers more?

listening-to-customers

Last month Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed us how to use customer feedback effectively through a surprise act. When a Tesla consumer complained via twitter about consumers leaving the cars at a local charging station even after fully charging and making others to wait in line, Elon surprised everybody by tweeting back within minutes and more by changing the company policy within 6 days. Tesla announced to Tesla owners they would be fined if they left their cars after they finish charging. They pushed a software update to their entire fleet with the warning. If a feedback in between thousands of tweets read every day is so much valuable to the man who runs two multibillion dollar companies, how much importance should you give to your customers’ feedbacks?

Customers are never wrong

There is a common saying the customer is always right and most of the time right he is. The customer, being the King of all businesses, have the power to decide what is right and wrong. If customers think your pricing is high, you have to adjust the prices. If they think you don’t have enough selections, you may consider ordering more inventory or adding more services. Customers can also appreciate you, so that you know you are doing things right. For a small business to last long and profitable, the most important thing is to admit the fact that “Customers are just never wrong”.

Feedbacks for Better products and services

No one likes to hear bad things about their company or product. But by accepting the hard truths and listening to our struggling customers instead of arguing with them, better products and services can be worked out. By tapping into customers’ minds, you will get tons of ideas to repackage and improve products, improve or completely change services or even eliminate some of the service levels. The information if used right can help you improve products or services significantly.

Feedbacks on Market Trends

Customer feedback can also be valuable to measure and understand market trends. It gives you valuable knowledge on the trends that are popular among various segments of your customers, so that you can fine tune products, services, and marketing efforts to keep up to that. You must always stay with the trend than trying to catch up later.

Helps to refresh your Customer Experience Strategy

Have you ever lost a customer and later find out that he is buying exactly the same products from your competitor? If you are still bemused about what went wrong, you have to seriously think about a refreshed customer Experience strategy. With rising competition in all markets, a well differentiated customer experience strategy is important to delight more customers and keep them with you. But the first and most important step of you strategy is to hear the voices of your customer. Listen to what they have to say. A well executed feedback gathering and analysis will sit on the top of the loop.

Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth marketing has always been an important for businesses. It can inflate or deflate a business. Individuals always look for a social proof before buying a new product. Social proof, as popularized by Robert Cialdini, is one way for individuals to make decisions on new things. If others are saying so, it must be the right thing. If a business fails to understand the problems of a customer, he will stop coming for your products and also dissuade others from your business. But if you are willing to listen to his problems and solve it early, you may be able to turn the detractor into your promoter.

More and More Demanding Consumers

Consumers are becoming more demanding and are expecting more from you. But things are getting very complex as customer expectations have become a moving target now. With the rise of competition in literally every business, the importance to customer satisfaction has grown and thereby their demands. Looking at what customers expected from businesses five years before, we are seeing exponential rise in their expectations. If you as a business fail to meet their expectations, you must be expecting serious and sudden consequences. Moving to one of your competitor is done with greater ease nowadays.

You will get a lot of information from your customers. It can be good, ugly or passive. The key is to gather all. You need to know the good, the bad and the neutral. If you are performing well, you need to know how you can replicate it across the company. If you are falling down, you need to hear about it early so we can fix the problem quickly.

Customer feedbacks can be collected through surveys, talking to customers directly, forming focus groups and by listening to social media. Feedback Surveys through tablets, emails, messages, websites and apps are the best option as the results will be targeted and organized. Gathering feedback effectively combined with proper analytics will give the perfect cushion for decision making. Listen, learn and thrive than driving to a dead end!

5 important tips to improve customer experience

2016_Principles-of-a-Great-Customer-ExperienceCustomers have changed a lot today. They are picky and they have options. They have raised the bar of expectations higher than ever before. A high percent of customers are less tolerant to unsatisfactory experience and they will stop doing business with your company in future. However big is your brand, you are always on the back foot with an average customer service.

Giving the ultimate customer experience is like an art. In this post, I will outline best practices to be performed to improve customer experience in your company.

1. Personalized treatment for your Customers.

Customers expect lots of choices nowadays. They want to choose from a wide array of products and services even if you run a niche business. Some may even opt for highly customized services where they get treatment like a new-born baby. Some want it fast but want perfection even to the minute details.

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