Customer Experience Featured Article

How to Make Sure Your Customers Has a Voice

July 03, 2014

By TMCnet Special Guest
Mark Silver, Editor and Lead Author of SpecTechUlar,

No company can survive without a solid customer foundation, but so many businesses and companies have forgotten this very simple fact. They assume that their customers will always be there, and they take things for granted. Instead of taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge that can be found by just listening to customers, development teams simply create what interests them and not what will benefit the customers, or the company, the most. Product managers are in a special position because they can get a team to sit up and take notice of what customers are saying in order to deliver the best product possible.

How Product Managers Play a Role

The reason why product managers care about what customers have to say is simple: this is the target group that they are advertising to. Customers have needs and wants, and it's much easier to sell something if the bullet points are already very apparent. There are two types of customers in the world: potential customers and current customers. Both of them are just as important. Were you aware of the fact that it's six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep an existing one? Current customers can help your company grow with word of mouth, but you won't get anywhere if you ignore their needs.

Listening to the Customer

Customers become very upset when they are trying to get their point across, yet feel like nobody is there to listen to them. Nobody likes to feel abandoned, and poor customer service can make customers feel exactly like they are left to fight their battles on their own. If you give customers the right amount of attention and feedback, they will be much more appreciative of what you are doing and will even help improve the image of your business. The White House Office of Consumer Affairs has stated that 13 percent of dissatisfied customers will tell over 20 people. That can be very damaging to any business, no matter how large it is.

Don't let your customers feel like they are just a number. Treat them like real people with real problems, and you'll grow from the experience while improving your image.

Obtaining Feedback

One of the best ways to let the customer's voice be heard is to collect feedback. Customers are the ones that work with the product on a regular basis, and they may encounter issues that weren't discovered during the development phase. At the same time, they may also have suggestions as to how a process can be streamlined or easier to use. While some complaints can be addressed by just informing the customer on what to do, there are some genuine concerns out there that people have and want feedback on. Addressing these issues will not only please current customers, but give new ones a stable foundation to start on.

Providing Guidance

One of the reasons why customers feel lost about something is because they don't understand what they are doing. You can provide guidance in a number of different ways, but some customers like to solve problems on their own. In fact, 45 percent of companies that offer web or mobile self-service see an increase in traffic and a reduction in phone inquiries. Giving customers the tools that they need to succeed is a great way to let those with more pressing issues get through to a customer service representative faster. One of the newest and best ways to get customers engaged and provide them with a simple solution is through digital guidance systems. WalkMe is one such tool, and is works like a virtual GPS to guide users through a problem one step at a time.

Get Feedback and Make a Difference

No matter what approach you decide to take, you need to make sure that your customers are able to voice their opinions and that they feel appreciated for doing so. Let your customers know that you care about their needs, and their loyalty will take your business to new levels that you couldn't otherwise reach on your own. Treat your customers well, and they will return the favor.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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