Gone are the days when customers had limited options and thus had to choose a company because they had no other option. With technology, and more specifically, the internet, customers can search out the companies that speak to them and make them feel important.
Seems like a massive undertaking, right? It doesn’t have to be, or at the least, it doesn’t have to be difficult. We’re going to cover a few ways that you can help your business listen better and give a voice to customers.
A customer-centric approach is key to success for any business. This isn’t a new concept. But many companies need to understand what that means and where to start. It’s not practical for most companies to contact every customer and ask for feedback directly. That would be a huge drain on your workforce. Automation (that doesn’t look like automation to the customer) is the backbone for building trust and interfacing with customers.
Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs are one of the most effective methods for businesses to listen to and understand their customer base. When you receive that survey pop-up or email after you order shoes online, that’s a part of a VoC program. They give companies valuable insight into how customers perceive their product(s) or service and what they would like to see improved or implemented to better meet their needs. They let organizations know the customer’s behavioral patterns, what they desire from a company, and when to push sales. It’s not purely about sales statistics and graphs. You can leverage the customer’s behavior with the right data to drive better sales.
Businesses can create a distinct edge over their competition by fostering relationships with customers and truly listening to their wants and needs. The shift to digital communication has provided businesses with many easier ways to reach out and get feedback from customers in real time through reviews, polls, surveys, and emails. These opportunities should be embraced as part of any comprehensive strategy for engaging customers. Listening attentively to customers’ feedback – both positive and negative – will provide invaluable insights into growing a strong and successful business that customers return to over and over.
Today, customer service is increasingly a public matter due to the rise of social media platforms. It is no longer just about traditional call centers or emails – customers now use social media to directly express their opinions or dissatisfaction with services. The wide-reaching implications of this emerging public face are putting an astounding $494 billion in revenue in jeopardy.
This publicity can have a significant impact on businesses’ reputation, going so far as affecting whether customers would recommend them to friends or not. Even if someone isn’t a customer, but somehow the interaction (or lack thereof) pops up on their social media feed, they might start telling their friends and family not to buy from you. The old saying, “any publicity is good publicity,” doesn’t always ring true in consumer relations.
A study even revealed that when customers have a bad experience, 55% will voice their complaints on social media, with only half getting a response in return. There are plenty of studies that say you should refrain from handling problems directly in the open on social media, but you can make it clear to the public that you’re listening and willing to redirect them to other means of communication.
More than half of complainants don’t get any response to their complaints in general, social media or not. When complaints are handled to the customer’s satisfaction, it fosters meaningful loyalty to your brand. When there’s a lack of communication, and as customers frequently see it, accountability, it can spur a domino effect on your brand and bottom line.
Thank Customers for Their Loyalty and Support
This is an easy but often overlooked or cheapened way to build a satisfied and repeat customer base. Thanking customers for their loyalty and support is a decisive action that can have enormous dividends for businesses. Consumers want to feel appreciated, so expressing genuine gratitude can lead them to stay loyal customers and recommend the company to others.
As a business, showing appreciation for your customers is not only the right thing to do to maintain good relationships, but it’s also a smart business move. Expressing gratitude creates a positive cycle that impacts every aspect of the company – from customer loyalty and trust to employee morale and motivation. Additionally, prioritizing people over profits, or at least appearing to, can help create an atmosphere where employees are not just seen as expendable resources for operations and economic success – but rather valued as members of the team who want to bring in more customers.
A recent survey showed that 82% of consumers would choose to buy from a company supporting charities they cared about over one that didn’t.
As an added bonus, studies show that employees prefer to work for a company that is involved with charities. Not only does it show how much a company values giving back to the community, but it also creates a warm and inviting environment. Research has revealed that 57% of employees feel greater engagement and job satisfaction when their company sponsors and participates in philanthropic initiatives. Supporting charities can bring employees closer together as their values and interests unite them. It’s clear that companies benefit too – fostering an atmosphere of giving not only strengthens team dynamics but even contributes to increased profitability because employees feel like they’re involved in something special and customers like returning to companies with enthusiastic employees because the enthusiasm can be contagious.
You Can’t Please Everyone
There are only so many ways to improve the customer service experience. It is never going to be a perfect science. You simply cannot please everyone every time. But what you can do is continue to strive for excellence in your interactions and communication with each and every customer. Make sure that even when you can’t satisfy every customer, you check all of your boxes, showing them that you gave it your best. Working on a better customer service experience overall is a solid way to retain customers.
Rewarding referrals is one of the smartest strategies a business can employ to generate more revenue. Not only does it encourage existing customers to bring in their friends and family, but the act itself is extremely cost-effective. A reward for providing a referral is much cheaper than running costly marketing promotions, yet has the same (or better) potential to attract new buyers.
This not only boosts profits but also builds loyalty as customers feel valued and rewarded, and it gets them excited. Additionally, offering incentives encourages repeat business from current customers as they know they will reap even bigger rewards with each referral.
In the End
Customers want to feel heard and appreciated. There are so many ways to do this, and you should always be looking for ways to improve. Whether through social media, a VoC program, or referral incentives, your organization has many options to boost customer loyalty and increase your revenue.
Every business wants to be successful, yet oftentimes it can feel like an unobtainable feat. With so many aspects that need to be managed correctly, where do you start? That’s when Centrae comes in!
Centrae’s platform provides businesses of all sizes with the ability to identify their strengths as well as any weaknesses. With Centrae’s Free Business Assessment, your teams can accurately assess performance while being provided with data-driven insights into where they should dedicate more effort. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re taking the right steps toward success. Click here to assess your business health, or request a FREE comprehensive assessment here.