Delivering A Better Service
As a business, we should always seek ways to improve the experiences our customers have with our services. This is important all businesses in order to have happy customers and build a positive reputation for its brand.
In this post, I will highlight a few of the ways a business can improve the services they offer and the experiences their customers have with them.
Understanding Your Customers
Every customer is unique. They all have their own standards, expectations, past experiences and opinions. Understanding these attributes, among others, is crucial to giving the right impression on your brand, products and services.
- Discover their interests. Determine what your customers enjoy and find interesting. From their favourite beverage, to where they go on holiday and what sports they like. This will help you to adapt your services to offer customers a more unique and memorable experience.
- Identify their dislikes. More important than what your customers do enjoy, is what they do not enjoy. As humans, we tend to hold on to memories of events that caused displeasure. This is usually to avoid experiencing that particular event again. As such, you do not want your brand, products or services to be associated with a negative experience. Understand what your customers do not like and avoid them like the plague. Certain topics are obvious for religious or moral reasons, which we hopefully do not need to explain. But other topics can be a little tricky and too personal to try figure out. Approach with caution, as the damage to your brand can be hard to recover from.
- Invest in public relations. Build a good rapport with your customers. One way to do this is by keeping on top of the information that surrounds your business and brand. Provide regular news and updates on the progress of your business and give customers an insight into how you operate. This can demonstrate transparency and honesty, helping customers trust you. This can be done by investing in a good public relations team or/and agency and allowing them to ensure your business is portrayed in a positive manner.
One of the best ways to improve your offerings is by obtaining feedback.
You need to gather feedback from customers who have already purchased your services. As these customers are already within your ecosystem and have an understanding of what you provide. Tapping into their thoughts about your business, brand and services can reveal a lot about what could have been done to improve their experience and also what you are currently doing well.
You also need to obtain feedback from missed opportunities. By missed opportunities, we are referring to people who are only a single decision away from becoming actual customers and paying for your services. For example, if you ran an online store, a potential customer could be someone who added a product to their basket, but didn’t check out. You need to identify what they found unappealing about buying from you and what could have been improved so that they would have purchased from you.
The final group you need to gather feedback from, are people who have no awareness or very limited awareness of your business. Consider this an anonymous opinion. This will most likely be the largest group. Rather than asking them about your business, you want to ask them about a particular industry that your business operates in or provides services to. For example, let us imagine your business is a small hotel. Rather than asking people about your business directly, you want to find out their opinions on what they look for in hotels in general. Find out what they wish hotels would do better and what would encourage them to chose a particular hotel over another.
As with most feedback, you got to filter out the non-constructive from the constructive. You also got to pay close attention to feedback from those who use price as their primary reason for making a decision. Because if a business only focuses on being cheaper as their way of improving their offerings, it can seriously damage their reputation.
You can gain feedback by conducting surveys, reading comments made on your site, and checking out reviews posted online. You can also ask your customers directly via a simple email or even a short Tweet.
You should get creative, as gathering feedback can also be a good way to promote your business. Maybe run a competition, do a giveaway or offer some type of reward for their contribution. Remember to let them know they are helping you improve the services you provide them, so they know it is in their best interests.
Don't Fear Change
You must be prepared to action the feedback obtained. Do not be fearful to change the way you do things as it can leave you behind your competitors and stifle growth and innovation.
Always have a plan for how to respond to feedback and make the changes required. Try piloting changes with a small group of people that provided the feedback to see if the changes are appreciated and return the expected results.
So long as you have a plan, you can manage the risks associated with the change. While this does not mean every change will be good, it does mean you can ensure you react swiftly and try a new approach.
To conclude, you need to understand your customers as they matter most to your business. You need to gain their feedback and opinion on what can be done better and what is already going well. Finally, you need to be prepared to action this feedback and plan to execute the changes in a manageable manner.
While this is a bit of an unusual topic for us to cover, it is still an important and relevant one. As we provide services that many customers use every day and so does your business.