Various surveys and feedback from customers can really help improve your products or services as well as customer experience level. However, do you really pay attention to all details your customers provide you? Or you just collect feedback because your competitors do? In fact, a Walker study found that by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. An ability to listen to your customers and develop really customer-centric company culture should be your main priority if you wish to stand out from competition.
No matter how smart and powerful your advertising campaign is, your customers will never stay with you if they feel that you don’t listen to them and ignore their suggestions and complaints. Shaun Belding shares top 10 bad customer service stories of 2018 in his blog post. They show that businesses fail not only to listen to customers but sometimes don’t even try to understand them forgetting about their main task – putting customers first.
Modern digital ecosystem offers various opportunities to engage with customers who expect brands to listen to them and act appropriately to what they learn.
Ask for their ideas, suggestions and feedback
You can collect various ideas and suggestions from your customers through surveys or special forms. Definitely, your customers can help you make your products or services better, offer valuable advice or feature suggestion. Moreover, if you would like to improve, ask your customers what they think. You can start special discussion on Facebook or Twitter, offer surveys or provide links to forms where they can leave their ideas.
Thank for their feedback and reward their suggestions
Write a thank you note for every idea your customers provide. Additionally, you can reward your customers for most valuable suggestions you are going to implement. Customers like knowing that you value their ideas. By replying to their posts on social media you will not only show that you listen, but you will also help your customers to promote their business by sharing their posts with your network.
Listen to complaints and do not stay indifferent
If your customers complain, show your empathy and try offering the best solution possible. Never stay indifferent or ignore customer complaints. Leaving complaints unresolved may spoil your brand reputation and show your customers that you do not value them.
Improve your listening skills
Good listening skills will help you not only make your customer interaction more friendly and professional but also better understand the information provided by the speaker. An ability to communicate effectively is becoming increasingly important. In fact, good listening skills will help faster resolve conflicts, improve customer relationship and customer service level. The following recommendations will help you train your customer service team to develop listening skills and become more effective at customer service:
- Ask questions if there is anything not clear
- Never interrupt
- Don’t make predictions, wait for a customer to finish a story
- Show empathy
- Avoid distractions
- Acknowledge that you understand the issue
- Describe the steps you are going to take
There are many benefits of listening to your customers. However, the main one is your opportunity to win their trust, loyalty and make your relationship stronger. Your customers tell you about their problems, concerns and suggestions. Thus listening to your customers helps you strengthen the bond of trust and improve your relationship.
Olga is a customer service expert and owner at Supportyourcustomer.com. She is writer and blogger on customer service and customer experience excellence.