Today is “Get to Know Your Customer Day,” and for businesses of all sizes, understanding the constantly evolving needs and wants of customers is essential for both initial and long-term success – especially in today’s competitive market. The valuable knowledge obtained from listening to your customers is what ultimately helps you offer the services and products that build brand loyalty. Yes, like in the famous song from the King and I, it does pay to “get to know all about” your customers!
So how can you most effectively listen to your customers? It starts with reaching out to get customer feedback. According to research firm TARP, for every customer who complains, 26 will not say a word. In other words, 10 customers complaining can be translated into 260 who have quietly chosen not to do business with you any longer. Can your business afford to have this happen? Just because you’re not getting complaints doesn’t mean you’re doing everything right. To really find out what customers are thinking, you need to offer quick and simple ways to provide feedback. Here are a few ideas to get started:
The insight obtained from a simple survey that asks basic questions pertaining to the overall customer experience can help you determine what you’re doing right and what can be improved. Whether you choose a low-tech paper survey or an online questionnaire, there is much to learn from the information you collect.
Do you need more in-depth information than what a survey offers? Gathering some of your best customers together to discuss your business, products and services can give you honest feedback that can be used to improve overall levels of service. Focus groups can be held in person or via an online tool such as WebEx. Regardless of the type of forum, the feedback you receive can be extremely valuable.
Social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter have given customers new ways to tell businesses what they think. By keeping up with what people are writing and sharing about your company, you can be more proactive about catching problems before they do serious damage.
The anonymity of online review sites like Yelp, Urbanspoon and Citysearch has encouraged many more customers to share their experiences. These reviews are excellent customer-service tools. By encouraging reviews, you can not only get honest accounts of customers’ experiences with your business but improve your search engine rankings in the process.
Getting to know your customer is easier than ever, thanks to tools like social networks and online review sites. By incorporating a few strategies to listen in on what people are thinking and saying about your business, you can gather the feedback necessary to offer the best possible service. From there, you can implement changes to show your customers that you care and are willing to do what it takes to keep them satisfied.
At RingCentral, we love hearing from our customers and encourage comments and ideas via Facebook and Twitter. We hope you’ll take the time to let us know what we’re doing right and how we can improve so that we can provide the best phone solution for your business.
Image: Jeroen van Oostrom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Originally published Jul 21, 2011, updated Aug 07, 2020