As a business owner, you might think you know your products or services best. However, it would surprise you to know that your customers have a lot to say about your offering. Regardless of your industry or niche, your customers have high expectations of your business, which is why you should listen to them.
While listening to customers sounds like a pretty simple thing, most companies don’t get it right. Yet, it could be the most crucial factor to attract customers and keep them happy. In this guide, you’ll discover how to listen to customers properly and why it’s essential.
One instance of missed expectations can make customers switch from one provider to another. This is especially true if they perceive the competitor to provide a better opportunity. To illustrate, a recent study shows that 82% of consumers would choose a different products or service providers following a bad experience at a company.
You can prevent this from happening to your company by learning to listen to customers actively. Listening to your customers calls for a lot more than just hearing about their issues or complaints. On the contrary, it’s more about connecting with them and entails:
Without a doubt, great customer service is about active listening. As far as customer service reps are concerned, they must consistently stay in tune with customers’ emotions. This eliminates repetition that is usually a source of friction in customer experience.
When you listen to customers, you remain in touch with their experience. Consequently, you consistently deliver value to them without giving them a reason to choose your competitors over you.
What does your business stand to gain when you effectively listen to customers? Here are the top reasons to upgrade your customer-listening skills:
Your product, service, customer service, and selling process all look different in your buyers’ eyes. As an illustration, you might think that these elements are perfect, but customers may see flaws in some areas. Their thoughts and opinion can be a source of valuable business information for the best business decisions.
Asking for customer feedback is the best way to help you reshape your offering and the way you sell. Customers are among your best critics. Interestingly, their feedback enables you to determine if you meet, fall short of, or exceed customer expectations. Ultimately, you can put up strategies to improve the overall customer experience.
When your customers come to you with a problem, your customer service reps have a job to provide a solution. Asking questions to clarify the issue helps them better understand the customers’ needs. With such an approach, the reps minimize the risk of insisting on one resolution that they think is best. Further, your company exhibits a personal side that fosters customer engagement.
Once they feel they can rely on you for answers, they become loyal. Upon establishing a real connection with them, sharing insights and news with them becomes easier. Overall, this creates a more positive image of your brand.
The value of your product or service can only get your business so far. However, the experience you create with them goes a long way in influencing their decision to stay with you. Poor customer experience is a significant contributing factor to a high customer churn rate. In other words, it increases the rate at which they stop doing business with your company.
When you listen to them, you take their feedback seriously, boosting customer loyalty. Similarly, it becomes easier to upsell. They feel appreciated or valued won’t have a problem buying more of your products and services.
If you provide a positive experience to them by listening to them, they’ll talk positively about your business to friends and family. Nielsen says that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than any advertisement they might see.
They can become your free marketing tool through social media or word of mouth if you listen to them. Ensure you join the online discussions and let them know you appreciate their opinion.
Your existing customers and prospects have a role to play in the success of your business. As such, never forget to listen to them, in addition to everything else you do to succeed. Ensure you set your business up in a way that lets them easily communicate with you. In return, demonstrate active listening by paying attention to their needs, opinion, and feedback.
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