The following is an example of a popular business motto that is used by many corporate departments of Customer Relations:
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises.
He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.
He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it.
He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it.
We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.
Following this motto means being committed to putting the customer at the center of everything you do; not just providing a service or product, but making the customer top of mind in each decision.
You want to show your customers that you value them and prove that they are the heart of your company and operations. You can accomplish this through engaging real feedback from your customers. Now, I am not talking about the type of engagement that can be achieved through social media, where people interact with your brand on a casual level. I am talking about engagement that can only be achieved through proactively seeking honest, personal feedback from your customers.
Below are some benefits of seeking customer feedback:
Knowing what customers really want and need
Many businesses think they know their customers’ wants and needs but they can’t unless the customers tell them. And rarely do customers tell without first being asked. Don’t make assumptions about your customers. Seek their feedback on a regular basis so your product or service hits the bulls-eye every time.
Depending on the type of business, your communication with customers may end once the transaction has occurred. Regardless of your industry, this dialogue should never cease. If you want to keep your customers coming back and build brand ambassadors for your business, make sure the communication continues after the transaction. Seeking their feedback helps them feel valued and motivates them to be a repeat customer or share your brand with others.
Increased Customer Loyalty
Asking for feedback is not only a way to improve communication between you and your customer, it is a sure-fire method for increasing customer loyalty. For example, when you meet or exceed your customers’ expectations, seeking their thoughts and opinions enhanced their trust in your competency and commitment. However, if you make a mistake but provide a communication platform for the customer to share their frustration, you give your company the opportunity to fix the error and redeem the relationship. We always say, “A complaint from a customer is a gift.”
Eliminating blind spots and gaps
If you are doing something wrong or missing the mark with some aspect of your business, it is often difficult to discover it without the help of an outside perspective. Who better to identify your holes and flaws than your customers? You can continuously improve your business by simply offering opportunities for customers to express their concerns and opinions.
We have all heard at one time or another that it costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current one. Think about that in real dollars, not to mention time and effort of you and your staff. By simply investing the time in seeking real, genuine feedback from your customers, you are increasing the likelihood of keeping their business and dollars.
If you have the courage to hear what your customers really think and feel about you – good and bad – and invest resources into customer retention, you are taking the first and most important step in moving your company in a positive direction and creating customers who will have no reason to go anywhere else.