Improving customer service and the customer service experience is something that both small businesses and large companies are always trying to do.
The great thing is that the answer on how to do that comes from one source – your customers. Asking your customers questions about the way they do business with you will gain you knowledge you’d never have insight to otherwise.
Let’s boil it down to basics, you lead or work in a business. You have or want customers. Your customers give you money for your product or service. You hope they come back again and give you even more money. This is pretty much how it works, right?
There is a critical component in here that can make the whole process so much more beneficial and will practically guarantee you customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Ask your customers questions. That’s it. Well, that’s the premise, but it reaches so many different levels. You need to ask them questions about what they need, how they will be using or what they want to accomplish with your product or service, what their challenges are, etc.
You also need to ask them about your business and the way you interact with them. This customer feedback is invaluable. These people are already familiar with your business and if you’ve done a good job cultivating trust with them, they’ll give you honest feedback.
You want to ask questions about what your business does well and what needs some attention. Customers love it when you ask them for their opinion or feedback because it shows them that you value them, and everyone loves to feel valued.
With all of this being said and done, there is one critical piece to this puzzle that left unused will have more of a negative impact than anything else.
If you ask the question, be sure to act on it. Few things irritate customers more than taking the time to answer a question or give requested feedback and have nothing happen from that point.
No, you can’t do everything your customers want or suggest, but you absolutely must acknowledge their input and ideas.
This can be as simple as “Thank so much for your ideas. That’s something I’m going to bring up in our next team/store meeting.” Or, you can go as far as writing a hand written note. Avoid using canned response letters when possible. It is alright to use a skeleton canned letter, but be sure to personalize it by referencing their suggestion or input.
Asking your customers questions makes perfect business sense. They are the ones doing business with you by asking them questions, they’ll be telling you how to keep them coming back to you instead of going to your competition.
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