If one of your customers is at an industry lunch talking with other business owners, will your customer say anything about your business? Will it be positive or negative, or will they say nothing at all? They might be comparing your business with similar businesses that people are talking about too.
You should always know what your customers are thinking and talking about your business. It’s a given that they are thinking about your business, your products and services, and their experience they receive as a customer.
Where there could be a missing link between what you think your customers think of your business is ‘perceived indifference’. This is where customers believe you don’t care about them or don’t value their patronage, making them more likely to leave or turn to your competitors. I’m sure you care about each one of your customers, but the way customers perceive your business can be the difference between them staying or leaving.
Finding Your Areas of Perceived Indifference
You are looking to understand what those customers love, hate, or frustrate them in doing business with you. This could be way in which you answer the phones, raise your bills, deliver the product or the service to your customer. Whatever it is, it’s important that you find out.
The best way to find out is to simply ask. Your customers have the answers; the problem is that nobody asks them. We have found that working with our clients, when they go to their customers and ask them, their customers are very open and prepared to help you.
By finding out what your customers really want from your business, you can make adjustments to exceed those expectations and gain a loyal following. These are the advocates who would willingly speak up about your business to others.
There are different ways for finding out perceived indifference in your business.
One-on-one with your customers
You are asking your customers personally whether over email, the phone or face. You will get in-depth responses and customer experiences, but it takes more time to collect responses, and you may be subject to customer biases on the importance of a certain business area.
Survey of multiple customers
You can deliver a short questionnaire to a group or all of your customers to get their feedback. This way you reach a larger group of customers more quickly, and can see trends in their responses on the same areas. This approach can be very insightful with minimal effort from the business owner.
Customer advisory board
This is a round table environment where you get ten to twelve of your customers together in a room and work through prepared questions or areas of the business. Your customers will appreciate they are being listened to, and will be open to providing you feedback, which could be the crucial element to you ensuring your customer attention is where it needs to be.
Some of our clients find it more effective to have an independent facilitator in the above approaches. This is a third party who can run and control those surveys or round tables, remain neutral to all customer feedback, and then aggregating the responses and recommendations into a report.
This is a sort of work that we are experienced in and enjoy doing. If you feel that we could play the role of that independent facilitator to help you better understand your customers, please reach and get in touch and we can have a conversation with you about how we might be able to work together. Contact us for an obligation free appointment.