Your customers might be switching to a competitor without letting you know the issues they had with your product/service. The main reason why customers feel reluctant giving feedback or reporting complaints/issues is the time consuming and complicated procedures and policies. Most customers find it easier to walk away from a business if they are not satisfied with the service. So if you want to retain customers it is really important to know how they perceive your product/service. Looking at your business from your customers’ perspective would help you deliver better customer service. In order to measure the customers’ perception about your business, start off with simplifying your feedback processes. Knowing what the customers think about your business would enable you to rectify your mistakes and improve your service significantly. Have a look at these six ways of assessing your customers’ perception about you!
Would you spare 20-30 minutes to fill a questionnaire that has confusing and lengthy questions? No customer would want to answer a feedback form that has twenty questions on it amongst which ten are open ended. If you want honest feedback from your customers, keep your customer surveys short, simple and add an incentive to them. The easiest way to know your customers’ rating and suggestions for your service is to design surveys that are precise and rewarding. For instance, if you are running a café, you can ask a customer to fill up the survey form that has multiple choice questions and offer a free cookie with it. Similarly, a clothing brand can offer discount vouchers to customers who give a one line suggestion or answer a simple question such as, “What do you think of our clothes?”
In order to serve your customers better, you need to know the areas of your service that need improvement. The best way to know how customers are rating your product/service is to keep a track of individual complaints and then sort out widely complained issues. If most of the customers are unhappy with the long service wait time, you should take it as a serious situation that is likely to cause you potential loss of customers. If you are getting too many complaints related to the exchange/refund of products, it means your customers are perceiving you as a business that doesn’t take into account customer convenience. Your competence towards handling your customer complaints is likely to amend your customers’ perception about you.
Another way of evaluating your customers’ perception about your business is to understand your customers’ needs and evaluate if you are meeting their expectations. One way of getting familiar with your customers’ needs is studying their demographics and psychographics. Once you know your customers’ needs, you can analyze your service to see if you are exceeding their expectations, providing an average service or disappointing them. Getting acquainted with your customers’ needs and enhancing the experience according to their preferences would play a significant role in positive image building of your business.
Customers these days share their positive and negative experiences with businesses on social media. So the easiest way to know how you are being perceived by your customers is checking your social media pages regularly. It would also help you in building personal connections with customers and knowing the grievances of unhappy or angry customers. It is possible that an unhappy or complaining customer finds it easier to post negative comments about your service on your Facebook page or tweet it instead of asking for a compensation. So keeping a track of such complaints on social media would help you in rectifying a negative customer experience and improve relationships with customers. If it’s the other way round and you have ardent brand advocates who are praising you on Facebook, you would know that you are steering in the right direction and developing a strong customer base.
Proactive communication is yet another way to understand your customers’ mindset and knowing their opinion about your product/service. Before making a sale, interact with your customer in a friendly manner to understand his/her personality traits, while some customers like to open up, you would find others being reluctant and reserved. So if you already know a customer’s mindset before selling a product/service, it would be easier for you to get feedback after the sale. You can send an e-mail to customers who you know would not be comfortable taking a phone call. Giving customers’ space and creating a comfort level would help you assess their honest perception about your business.
Making your customers feel special and empowered is likely to make them share their opinion. Sharing your upcoming projects with your customers and asking for their suggestions would not only enlighten you about your strengths and flaws but it will also help you build reliable customer relationships. For instance, if you are launching a new milk product, sharing it with your customers before it hits the shelves would give you insightful information on how your existing products are being perceived by customers. It is likely that you get valuable suggestions from customers to not only improve your upcoming product but make changes to the existing ones for increasing customer satisfaction.
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