Common Sense Best Practice: Your Customer Knows Best
The pace of technology is quickening. A new app, device, or solution rises to the surface every week and we feel compelled to pay attention, to stay attuned to the latest and greatest. However, as we all strive to keep up — as organizations and individuals — we also need to remain rooted in some common sense, even as the winds of change try to sweep us off to the next best thing.
Not every shiny, new trinket is worth our time. Let’s not lose sight of why technology matters. It’s there to:
- Help us better understand and serve our customers (and thus, improve our business success).
- Make our jobs easier and more effective.
- Enable us to be better people — more productive, informed, connected, and communicative than ever in history.
And speaking of history, the Information Age didn’t begin all that long ago. Less than a generation ago, “doing business” meant knowing customers’ names and preferences. Picture the iconic 1950’s corner store or soda fountain, where the standard level of service came with a smile and a personal touch.
LOOK BACK TO MOVE FORWARD.
Companies today can learn a lot by looking back to that golden era when personalized service was the only way of doing business. The world we live in today may appear completely different, but customer expectations haven’t changed at all. In fact, customers likely demand more from your business these days, knowing you’re thoroughly armed with powerful systems, ideally in place not just to make you more money, but also to serve them in flexible, sophisticated new ways.
Unfortunately, some companies have taken this technology-driven service model too far, forgetting the practical reality that the people with whom we do business are actually people, not “leads,” “accounts,” or “lists” as we sometimes refer to them. We’ve focused so diligently on building our technical armory that we may have missed the forest for the trees and left the lifeblood of our businesses, our valued customers, feeling like account numbers, rather than people with unique stories and needs.
CUSTOMERS WANT YOUR FULL ATTENTION.
The battle is not lost. Some simple changes can improve how customers perceive you, giving them the personalized service and attention they desire. First and foremost, ask for feedback — consistently and at key points along the customer journey — using surveys, call scripts, and all kinds of web forms. Integrate that feedback into the center of your customer data — your CRM system. And lastly but critically, respond and adapt to what your customers say.
The feedback loop must include these elements:
- Collect customer feedback to show customers you care about their input.
- Centralize responses in CRM for rich, comprehensive insight.
- Act on the insights to deliver highest quality service and customer experience.
Beyond the basics, it’s highly recommended to go a step further, offering mobile-optimized feedback options and choosing a feedback feedback options and choosing a feedback solution that performs text analysis, so that you can understand, categorize, and reply quickly and appropriately to free-form written responses.
A strong feedback-to-CRM solution will deliver:
- Awesome customer experience fueled by strategic, meaningful interactions.
- Increased satisfaction earned by swiftly addressing customer needs.
- Greater revenue generated by maintaining loyal customer relationships.
Show your customers that they know best. Ask for direct feedback at important points along the journey; respond fittingly; and continually reaffirm their loyalty. This simple best practice will satisfy your customer’s unchanging need for good, old-fashioned, one-to-one service.