We know that Steve Jobs never asked his customers what they want. Mark Cuban doesn’t recommend it either. Many business owners think that asking customers about features they want to see in their product is pointless. After all, no one knows better than the owner, in which direction a company should go. Plus, your customers don’t really see the value or a particular need until they use the new product.
But then, your education and relationship with customers starts when you actually put your product out in the world. And that’s the time you should be asking customers questions and start listening to them. What do they like about the product, what do they think should be improved? How do they talk about your product in the social media? Here are the top benefits of listening to your customers
You build a relationship with customers
When a customer comes to you with some sort of a problem, your job as a customer service agent is to get to the point of their issue.
You can do that by asking questions, listening and trying to understand their needs. This kind of approach, instead of talking and insisting on the one resolution that you think is the best, will benefit for you. Once a customer feels that they can depend on you, they will become loyal.
You ask and receive feedback
Customers’ feedback can be a great source of learning. Especially when it comes from customers who are not happy with your product. They can give you an insight that will allow you to fill the gap between their expectations and what a company is able to deliver.
Just don’t send them surveys that contains tons of questions. Learn how to get feedback from customers in the first place. I recommend an NPS survey, which contains one basic question: “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” followed by an option to add a short comment. This way you can dispel many doubts about your service.
You increase sales
There’s a big difference between a salesman and customer service rep who listen instead of just talking and selling. When you ask questions and focus on listening to the customers’ answers, you get to the bottom of their needs. This allows you to provide the solution that is right for them, not just the one that you want to sell.
You also put customers at the first place, which they can feel and it makes them more likely to purchase from you.
You gain new customers
Regular customers spread the word of mouth about good experience they got from your company. They are more likely to talk about it using social media.
Invest in tools that will notify you whenever a discussion about your company occurs (I can recommend Mention). You can also look for discussions by using hashtags. Join the conversations and let customers know that you appreciate their opinion.
You avoid crisis
It may happen that you will not always get a good word of mouth. By monitoring your social media, you can react just in time to avoid crisis. Set up notifications from your Twitter and LinkedIn. Check your Google+ and Facebook few times a day. Read messages from your customers and respond to their comments under your posts.
By being available to your customers on a short notice, you increase their comfort and trust in you. As the result, they can rest assure knowing that they can rely on you.
Win customer’s heart
There are many benefits of listening to your customers. But the most important is the strong relationship you create with them. When you listen to customers, you learn about their problems and pain points that need to be solved. You are also strengthening the bond of trust and that’s the most important part of any relationship.
Olga Kolodynska serves as a writer for LiveChat.