A successful business is nothing without its customers. Despite this truism, business owners frequently overlook the most basic desires of their clientele. When you’re excited to implement new ideas, customer needs sometimes fall by the wayside. Business owners who focus solely on their own goals aren’t likely to find long term success, though. Competition is stiffer than ever, and if you forgo listening to your customers, you could see them ditch your business for other options.
So just what do customers want? After 30 years in the customer service industry, we’ve learned the answers and would like to share:
Quick Answers, Quick Follow-Ups
When it comes to understanding customer needs, it helps to put yourself in their shoes. Customers hate it when companies give them the runaround. They don’t want to call in, only to be bounced around from one person to the next until the right person is found to answer their questions.
When you outsource with a US-based customer support call center, such as through a company like MAP Communications, you can provide all the information required to let them answer questions on your company’s behalf, which will drastically speed up the whole process for callers.
When it comes to understanding your customer, there’s nothing quite like a phone follow-up to get insight. These conversations occur right after a person makes a purchase or your customer service representatives solve a problem. Keep in mind that a phone follow-up is much different than a survey, as you may limit it to only a few important questions on what your customers think about your sales department or customer service representatives. By having customers share their experiences, you can gain more clarity on why they contacted your business and what you can do to improve the business relationship you have with them.
Night and Day Availability
Customer needs and wants vary dramatically from person to person. While it’s impossible to be everything to everybody, you’ll want to prioritize availability for customers of all timezones and schedules. To provide the best possible service to all your customers, live representatives should be available around the clock. You never know when someone will want to place an order in the middle of the night or require help with your product outside of your normal office hours.
Customer intent isn’t hard to determine – if you’re available to listen and learn, that is. Imagine a motivated customer contacting your company, only to hear the phone ringing and ringing with no answer or being disappointed when the call goes to an unhelpful voicemail box that indicates they will get a response within 24 hours, or something to that effect.
It’s also important to keep in mind that 24-hour availability won’t mean much if the people answering calls do not speak the same language as the customers calling in. This is why so many companies choose to partner with call service centers that are courteous enough to maintain bilingual employees on staff, to ensure they can address questions from non-English speaking customers. Understanding your customer often comes down to having the language skills necessary to communicate with them.
Not sure if your customers really need access to your services night and day? Look at purchasing data for guidance. Past purchase behavior offers you the hard data on what drew your customer to make purchases in the past. You learn about what they purchased, the amounts they purchased, and the frequency of their purchases that can be used as historical data. Then you can go over your business operations while using this analytical data to see when sales improved based on availability. You can also consult with your call center partner as they can provide valuable call data to help you make the best business decisions.
Clear, Consistent Messaging
Customer needs exist long before a person makes a purchase. From the moment a prospective customer visits your website or social media page, they’re in need of one thing: information. Social media allows you to easily distribute messaging about your brand, product, and/or service, and allows for informal customer interactions that can build loyalty and establish your company as approachable and helpful.
Be careful not to assume that any social media use is good social media use. Companies that endlessly blare information about their product without offering anything of true value to their customers are perceived as annoying to their target audience. Customers get tired of seeing only “salesy” posts that essentially clog up their feed. Instead, aim to spark a conversation or offer deals or discounts. Seek to reward your fans and followers for engaging with you, and you’ll demonstrate that you truly value what they have to say. Want to know how to find out what customers want? The answer often lies in simply listening.
In addition, it’s important to stay on top of any complaints that make it onto your brand’s social media sites. A recent survey showed that nearly half of all respondents preferred using social media to voice complaints over more traditional routes. While making your brand accessible for customer service via social media can seem like a great way to engage your customers, fielding complaints and concerns on these platforms places a big spotlight on your response time and any potential weaknesses in your brand.
Try MAP for Free
Customer needs are as varied as your customers themselves. While you might be eager to learn what is most important to know about each customer, you must be willing to invest the time and effort to find out. Nurturing customer relationships is all about actively listening. By increasing your availability and partnering with a professional call center, you can craft the ultimate customer experience.
At MAP Communications, our courteous professionals make it their mission to provide the highest level of customer service. To demonstrate this, we offer a free 7-day trial so you can see for yourself how valuable 24/7/365 call answering services can be for your business. For more information or to get started with new service, please contact MAP Communications today.
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