Transforming the Customer Experience

Category : customer feedback

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Can You Use Social Media To Reach More of Your Customers?

Are you looking for the newest way to connect with your customers?  Well, since you are on the internet reading this post, you have access to the newest way companies are taking initiative to interact with their customers – Social Media.

Facebook and Twitter are the top two players in the social media world.  These two sites enable companies to look at what their customers are saying about them, both positive and negative. The customer feedback in a public forum has many advantages that are just now being discovered.

Las Vegas is doing this on a daily basis.  Most of the casinos are looking for posts about them and finding out what customers like, what they don’t like, solving problems, and even recruiting new customers.   A recent article, Casinos use social media sites to reach customers published in SF Gate gives many examples of what they are doing to improve customer service and satisfaction through the social media sites.

“Resorts are setting up fan pages where executives can monitor customer suggestions about how to improve business. They also can collect guests’ kudos, offer immediate assistance to customers in distress — and cringe when unhappy patrons post critical remarks.

For their part, customers are discovering the Web sites offer an unprecedented voice, with comments and reviews not only reaching casino managers but wielding influence with an untold number of customers and potential customers.”

There is a certain degree of risk involved with social media being a public forum for all the world to see any dirty laundry being aired.  However, I see this as an advantage because when the public can see the initial problem online, they can also see how effectively the service recovery was handled.  I’m a firm believer of the fact that when consumers see companies making a situation better for a customer through excellent customer service, then they will be far more likely to remain loyal customers and also drive more traffic to those companies than those who do nothing to resolve issues online.

Great Follow Up Example that Increased Customer Satisfaction

The other day, I ordered some nutritional supplements from a source that was recommended to me, Prograde Nutrition. I had never ordered from them before, but someone that I have a high respect for in the health field recommended them.

Upon completing my order, I received the best follow up email I have ever received from anyone I have ever done business with.

I won’t paste the entire letter here, but it did an excellent job in all of these areas.

Acknowledgement: They immediately thanked me for my order and told me how happy they were to have me as a customer – “Thank you for your order – we are delighted to have you as a customer!”

They know what their customers want  and make it easy to contact them – “It is obvious you care about your body and what you put in it. We know you’re going to love how Prograde helps you look and feel your best. If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever pertaining to your order, the easiest way to reach us is through our Client Care page at https://www.getprograde.com/store.php?page=client_care

Education – They clearly outlined their shipping process and when to expect my order.  They also again provided an avenue to contact them if there were any questions on shipping.

They asked for feedback in order to improve their services – “If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear from you. Comments from our customers help us improve. Please take a moment to send us your thoughts. You can email them to us by Clicking Here.”

They closed the letter out, but then did an extra bonus – They thanked me again! – PS- We really can’t tell you how excited we are to have you as a customer.”

Since I thought this was such a fantastic letter and the wording did such a great job of conveying that they truly value and appreciate their customers, I did email and told them exactly that.  I commended them for the way that the encourage feedback and appreciate and educate their customers.

That was all fine and good.  Today, as I was giving a presentation to a local business group, a call went through to my voicemail.  It was from one of the co-founders of Prograde Nutrition. He said that my email was passed along to him and that he wanted to thank me for my email and for becoming a new customer. He even left me his phone number should I have any need to contact him!

This is a clear example of a company that truly values the fact that the customer is what keeps them in business.  Their customer service so far has increased the trust factor in this new relationship.  With such a great beginning, I’m certain that it will continue as such.  If the product’s are as good as they say they are, I am a customer for life based on the service I received so far.

Your Customer Satisfaction is Dependent Upon Your Relationship with Them

Why do you currently bank where you do?  Is it because you have a relationship with a particular banker?  Why do you stay with your current financial adviser?  Most likely because you have a strong relationship with them.  What level of customer service to you expect?

What is the best way to develop relationships and increase customer satisfaction?

By spending time with those you want relationships with. Find out what is important to them. Discover what their goals, needs, and desires are. Keeping in touch with those that are important to us.

We can use this basic relationship premise in the world of our business relationships as well.

Your customers are not buying your product or service…. they are buying the relationship with you.

Let’s use the example of financial institutions and advisers. With financial issues being so much more prominent today than ever before, it is an absolute guarantee that customers want to be in an environment where they feel truly understood by those that are helping them.

Determine the goals of the goals of your customers. In the example of financial advisers, find out what their plans are.  Are they saving for retirement?  Do they want to leave a legacy?  Are they planning on putting their kids through college?  Are they risk takers or conservative investors? By accurately understanding the reason why someone is using your services, then you can provide them with exactly what they are looking for.

When your customers truly feel that you understand what their goals are, and that you are on their team, it becomes a relationship.  All sales today are actually relationship selling.  This relationship will be ongoing and deepen as time goes on.  In the end, it is a win-win situation for both.  The customer’s goals are most likely met, and your bottom line benefits.

Customer Feedback – Are you listening?

The profitable companies are those that are truly listening to their customers.  Customers will tell you exactly what they like and don’t like about your company and products.  Many companies tailor their products and services around the feedback that their customers have given.

Many clients ask me how to get the feedback.  The answer is quite simple – ASK THEM.  Consumers appreciate the feeling of being valued and asked for their opinion.  When you ask the right questions the right way, the feedback that you receive will be your most valuable market research.  When properly applied, the benefits will not only be increased customer satisfaction, but customer retention, customer loyalty, and increased purchases.

Your bottom line greatly depends on the proper application of customer feedback.  If feedback is asked for, be certain to use it appropriately.  The huge gains in the customer perception cannot be recovered once the customer feels that they were asked, but the feedback not considered.  It is impossible to apply the feedback of your entire customer base.  But when feedback is received, acknowledge it and let the customers know how it was used.  If appropriate, it is even possible to inform them as to why certain suggestions were not taken and why and still retain their business.  Again, this will demonstrate the feedback was appreciated and considered.

“By understanding the customer’s wants and needs, businesses better understand what to offer, therefore creating client satisfaction, brand recognition and customer loyalty. Through research and surveys, customers voice their opinions and give feedback. Profitable growth occurs when our clients target customer retention with the same vigor as new sales, and take action on this feedback by improving their product, service or operations,” said Bobra Bush of Telcare Corporation.(Press Release 24/7)

Whether you use comment cards, focus groups, or surveys, be sure to invite and ask for feedback from your customers.  When the give it, truly consider it and apply when appropriate.

Your customers will thank you for it.

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