“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Damon Richards, a customer service expert.
Indeed, the way you interact with your customers can impact your business’s bottom line just as much, if not more so, than the quality of your products or the incentives you offer. Some businesses fall into the trap of designing their operations around what they think their customers want; they fail to do the proper research, and they end up with results that fall short of expectations.
What are some things you can do to meet your customers’ needs in their preferred space, rather than in your own?
Ask Your Customers What They Want
Oftentimes, when you visit a website or make a purchase at a store, you’ll receive a gentle nudge to fill out a quick survey. You may want to let your own business follow this trend, but be sure to pay careful attention to how you craft your survey. Your survey should be brief and ask concise questions. Be careful not to word your questions so they encourage a particular answer. You should also set goals for your survey to give you a frame of reference when you look at its results.
You may conduct surveys online, over the phone, or even through snail mail; the format you should choose depends on your audience.
Sometimes, you can skip the asking part when it comes to discovering what your customers want. Look at online review sites and record customer service calls. This will give you insight into areas that could use some improvement.
Think Beyond Customer Requests
An article from Pragmatic Marketing points out, “ … customers don’t always know what they want.” It is not your job to keep up with customer expectations. It is your job to stay a step ahead. Hence, even though many of your customers may take it for granted that they will have to be on hold for a while before they can talk to a customer service representative, they will love it when you take steps to shorten hold times.
Constantly ask yourself how you can do better at exceeding expectations.
Make Your Customers Feel Appreciated
Of course you appreciate your customers, but do they know that? If they are unable to reach your business during evenings and weekends, or if your customer service representatives have sub-par product knowledge, your customers may end up feeling that you do not see them as important.
To make your customers feel important, you should:
- Encourage your employees to use customers’ names.
- Take an interest. Your call center reps can do things like talk about the weather and further the conversation when a customer mentions a family event.
- Be careful not to make promises you cannot deliver on.
- Be polite and tactful, even when customers do not afford you the same kindness.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Your customers’ preferred space is where they feel comfortable, and there is nothing comfortable about a two-hour hold time. Prepare for call overflow by using a call center service. You may even choose to outsource all your calls to a third party that specializes in providing excellent service over the phone.
Look for a call center service with experience in your industry. Novasors Call Center Solutions, for example, is an excellent choice for insurance, travel, and financial businesses, among others.
Meeting your customers’ needs in the best way possible involves two key things: listening to what they want, and figuring out what they don’t know they want. By always seeking to improve your products and services, you put yourself in a position to build customer loyalty and boost your business.