One of the most cited customer complaints is a company’s inability to effectively listen. Often times customers will actively complain or offer suggestions for improvement. Unfortunately, companies tend to ignore these complaints if they don’t fit in with their larger and established business model. Conversely, companies might say that “they are listening to their customers,” when in fact they are not truly understanding the underlying cause for the customers’ complaints. If you want to retain your customers, then you must learn to listen.
How Can You More Effectively Listen To Customers?
Effectively listening to customers will require you to take an active role in customer communications.
- Engage with your customers on social media. — In today’s digitally-driven world, customers often take to social media to voice their concerns and praises. Become a part of the conversation by responding to your customers on their chosen social media platforms.
- Create focus groups for new products. — Ask your loyal brand ambassadors to partake in focus groups for new products or services. These focus groups will become an effective tool for understanding if your most loyal customer base approves of your company’s latest offerings. They also provide you a chance to gather feedback, which can be used to implement lessons learned for continuous improvement.
- Send out customer satisfaction surveys. — Customer satisfaction surveys will help you to better understand how satisfied your customers are with the products and services that you deliver. It is also the perfect opportunity to gather valuable feedback. Make sure that you create a personalized response to each customer who responds to your survey.
- Create a customer focused work environment. — If you want to deliver exceptional customer service, then your entire team needs to be dedicated to the task. This means that your internal work environment should always be focused on the customer. Create team building exercises that encourage positive customer interactions, while simultaneously teaching effective listening tactics. These tactics should be employed whenever an employee is communicating with a customer via email, on the phone, or in person.
The Bottom Line: Retention Is Key To Business Success
You spend countless hours ensuring that your products and services meet a certain quality level. However, the quality of your products or services is only as good as the customer service that you provide. In order to continue growing you need to keep your existing customers and acquire new customers. By creating a customer focused work environment, where your employees learn how to actively listen to customers, you can and will improve your customer retention levels, which will lead to additional business successes.