Customer Responsiveness is Critical to Business Success

customer responsiveness in a workplace

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

“The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.”John Russel

In the previous exposition, we spoke about the importance of managing customer responses. The current write-up deals with the criticality of customer responsiveness for any business. What is customer responsiveness? From a business standpoint, it’s the ability to not only perceive but also respond to the changing needs of customers. Research has proven that an in-depth knowledge of and engagement with customers has become the most sustainable advantage and competitive edge of any business.

A company that is focused on its customers is aware of the importance of being responsive. It will use all its resources, and train its employees to ensure that customers receive service excellence from the company. A lack of responsiveness is possibly one of the major reasons that customers leave a company. As a result, it weakens and ultimately destroys a business. As part of business success, you can use a tool like interactive decision trees to offer quality customer service.

So, why is customer responsiveness critical to a business? Let’s find out more.

It portrays the company in a positive way

Customer responsiveness is so critical since it highlights your brand in a positive light. Every message from customers, query, and the statement that comes from customers would ‘speak’ about how they feel about a company. Therefore, it’s imperative for a company to notice the ‘feelings’ and attitudes of customers and responds to them appropriately. Such speed and effectiveness are the basis of customer responsiveness. It can make any company extremely popular with both existing and prospective customers. It is vital that a company monitors the manner, speed, and efficiency of its customer responsiveness. Knowing how good or not, your company is, at perceiving customer needs and expectations enables a company to enhance its abilities or do away with things that hold it back. In turn, such responsiveness elicits positive responses from your customers. It leads to a healthy and long-term relationship between a company with its customers.

Lack of customer responsiveness has major drawbacks

While there are obvious advantages of customer responsiveness, there are also some major disadvantages of a lack of such responsiveness. An example is the loss of customer trust and their ability to believe that your company is dedicated to serving their needs. No business can survive without the trust of customers. Ignoring them is a sure-shot way to lose their trust. In turn, it would lead to huge expenses like gaining new customers and loss of money invested in building relationships with the customer that leaves. Loss of credibility in the market means investors, prospective employees, and other possible business partners would stay away. The company would have to spend more to attract these ‘partners’. In addition, a lack of customer responsiveness creates obstacles and disrupts the smooth flow of a business. It portrays the company in a poor light.

Poor customer responsiveness leads to loss of money

Faring poorly on customer responsiveness leads to others incurring costs and facing inconvenience due to the laxity of a company. Customers would need to realign their business and search for new business partners. It leads to a waste of time, effort, and money for them too. In addition, a break in a relationship owing to a lack of customer responsiveness could lead to stalling of projects.

This translates to a loss of money and resources for customers, making them extremely annoyed and vengeful towards a company. Customers do not like to face problems owing to the incompetence of a company. They would be extremely vocal in expressing their annoyance of the same through online channels, and especially social media. Many companies have lost a lot of money and valuable resources in trying to calm angry customers. It would be a lot better to pay attention to customer responsiveness from the start.

Hire staff that understand customer responsiveness

Companies do not have any excuses or reasons now, to fail at customer responsiveness. Updated technology has led to several channels of communication and means to serve customers. In order to make the most of these channels, a company must hire staff that not only understands the importance of customer responsiveness in service but also has the ability and attitude to provide consistently top-class solutions to customers. The aim should be to remain proactive and anticipate the needs of customers.

They should strive to provide first-contact resolutions wherever possible. The service staff must constantly receive training and coaching. It ensures that they keep their focus on being sensitive to customer needs and meeting their expectations each time. Being high on customer responsiveness is about understanding that each customer is different. That means their needs, expectations, problems, and emotions too, are all unique and the company must treat them as so.

Understand customers association with the company

For a company to be at the top of customer responsiveness, it would be imperative for everyone in the customer service teams, along with leadership, to understand the association that each customer has with the company. Many companies invest in CRM software and systems. It enables them to maintain a centralized record of every transaction/interaction a particular customer would have had with the company.

This allows the front-line staff to access the customer’s information speedily when they connect with a company. It saves them time and provides the ability to give updated information about customers. The service staff would have data on the customer’s journey with the company. Hence, it would be a lot easier to anticipate how the customer behaves towards the company and predict their needs. Customers love companies that seem to know what they need – it makes them feel special and valued.

It helps companies develop better products

Customer responsiveness helps a company to develop new products or modify the current ones, based on changing customer needs. Customers leave information and provide feedback all the time. It could be by way of product reviews, comments about a company’s experiences with a brand, and other such data. It is up to the company to extract and monitor this information. They can use it to create products and or services that would be the closest match to the current customers. Several tools are available in the market today. Companies that utilize these tools effectively become extremely effective at customer responsiveness. As a result, it draws customers in and turns them into loyal, profitable, and raving fans of the company.

Why is customer responsiveness important?

By its very definition, customer responsiveness is about a company’s willingness to learn more about its customers. It is about being proactive and actively listening. It’s also about being ready with solutions that can be tailored to fit a specific customer. Customers tolerate errors, system failures, and other such out-of-control aspects. They are also tolerant of ‘teething issues’ of new products, systems, software, apps, and other such technical stuff.

Customers can be forgiving when they know that the company, does its best to ensure that they receive top-class service and products. What customers do not forget and forgive is being treated shabbily, being ignored, and a lack of customer responsiveness on the part of the company. Even an inkling of any of these negative aspects will throw them into a tizzy. It makes customers share their negative experiences with all, and leave for their partner company instantly.

Final Thoughts

Responsiveness to customers makes them feel at ease. It keeps them impressed and focused on a particular company with which to do business. Of course, responsiveness must be in conjunction with top-class products, and competitive pricing. However, it is customer responsiveness that would be most appreciated. It gives any company an edge over its competitors and other players in the market.

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