The larger your company gets, the easier it is to become disconnected with the reason you are in business at all – that is, your customers.
As your company grows, you need to go beyond simply implementing systems to improve customer service, customer experience, and customer loyalty – you also need to focus on listening to your customers.
In fact, your customers have a few things they’d like to say to you right now…
1. “We Have Short Attention Spans”
This isn’t a huge surprise – after all, we live in an instant-gratification world – but what is surprising is that the average attention span has dropped from 12 minutes to 5 minutes. That’s a significant drop.
What does this mean for you and your company? It means you need to be careful not to waste those precious five minutes.
You have just five minutes to communicate with your customer, and in those same five minutes you should also aim to collect useful feedback.
Lesson: Keep customer surveys short and meaningful.
2. “We Want to Know What’s in It for Us”
This may be harsh, but it’s true: Customers don’t care about your company. What they do care about is themselves. With every single interaction between your company and your customers, the value to them should be clear:
- Your sales team should be there to help the customer through the purchasing process.
- Your customer service team should be there to help customers with any issues they are experiencing.
- Your executive team should be there to make sure the company is living up to its values – which of course are aligned with what customers want.
You get the point. Customers expect to have their needs met first and foremost, so put them first in everything you do to get the best results.
This applies to customer insights as well. Whether customer feedback is solicited or unsolicited, you can create a better customer experience by ensuring that you acknowledge their response and that it is applied to make improvements to how you operate.
Lesson: Thank the customer for their feedback and use it to enhance their next experience with your company.
What do you do with customer feedback? Do you use it to improve your products or your customer’s experience? If so, great! You’re halfway there. But to go all the way and make an impact on your bottom line, you also have to let customers know that you heard them.
This can be as simple as a thank-you note emailed to a customer who gave you feedback. Or it might be as broad as a press release or blog post announcing the changes you are making to your products “thanks to customer feedback.”
Social media has given companies an even more impactful way of letting customers know they are valued, listened to and understood. When a customer reaches out to you on social media, respond. Not only will your customer acknowledge the attention, but all of their followers will see it too. Social proof is incredibly powerful.
Lesson: Acknowledge customer feedback and show customers how you are using their responses to make your product or service better.
4. “We Want to Teach You What We Know”
If you think that customer surveys are bothersome to customers, and that they don’t want to take the time to give you their feedback, think again. Customers want to be heard and they want to share their insight with you.
Your customers have opinions about their experience with your company, opinions about your products and services, and thoughts about how you could make things better. Let them have the opportunity to share their knowledge with you – conduct customer surveys and customer research early and often.
Social media is a great way to give your customers the opportunity to provide feedback as well. Just make sure you have customer service teams monitoring each account and responding to comments. Nothing will ruin a customer’s experience faster than being ignored.
Lesson: Give your customers the opportunity to teach you what they know by providing easy feedback systems like surveys and social media.
The larger your company gets, the easier it is to be disconnected from your customers. Stay in touch with them and meet their needs through a customer-focused mentality and simple, meaningful feedback systems.