Understanding customers requires you to take a hard look at the points at which your customers have contact with your business. These include meetings and visits, phone calls, correspondence and deliveries. Do your premises look scruffy, is your receptionist unfriendly or do your phones ring off the hook? All these things can make a customer feel disappointed.
The most common customer complaint is being kept waiting. If you're slow to return calls or fulfil orders, then you're in danger of losing customers. Above all, customers want you to deliver what you have promised and surpass their expectations.
Understanding your customers and improving your service must be a priority throughout your business. Everyone from the front desk to the delivery staff should focus on exceeding customer expectations.
Using data to understand your customers
Your database or customer relationship management system (CRM) holds valuable information about your customers that will help you to understand their needs.
Investigate the data you hold on your customers, it can tell you a lot. Look for patterns so you can see when your customers typically make orders. You can also use the data to analyse your performance. Check how quickly you're responding to orders or delivering goods.
Ask your customers what they think
Conduct a customer satisfaction survey and you will make your customers feel valued. You will also gain valuable insights. But don't ask for feedback if you are not prepared to make changes. When you do make improvements, tell your customers what you have done as a result of their feedback.
Customer surveys can tell you things you may not know, including human factors such as staff behaviour. Not everyone complains when they are dissatisfied. Instead, they tell their friends about their bad experience and take their business elsewhere. Unless you proactively consult your customers, you may never discover where you are going wrong.
As well as asking for feedback, set up a customer contact programme to ensure you keep in touch with your clients.
Dr. Antony Michail
Anacalypsis Strategy & Marketing Consultants