Things your customers wished you knew

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” – Ray Kroc

Customers are tough. There is no escaping this fact and as a business you know that revolving your strategies around the old maxim – customers are always right – is the best thing for you. It is challenging and can even be unpleasant at times, but you just have to deal with it since without customers there can be no business. The truth also is that customers do not settle for half-baked and shoddy service. They expect to receive stellar service each time and will refuse to accept even if they are wrong. Among the things your customers wished you knew is that customer satisfaction must be a standard – non-negotiable. There is a list of things compiled to help understand the things your customers wished you knew about them and would always do them if you expect them to remain customers.

– First and foremost and actually quite obviously customers expect and want that you listen to them. Listen actively and incorporate whatever they say in to their strategies and in developing the products that you expect them to use. They expect that you will do what they want and not what you think they want. Sometimes they just expect you to listen to a problem they may have or may call on you to make a more informed decision on what, when and how much to buy. When you listen actively, the advice provided will be spot on and beneficial for them and over time they will learn to depend on and trust you. The truth is you could have the best and highest quality product, but if you have not listened to your customers, even the best can fail. Lack of a personalized approach will mean a one size fits all approach to customers and among the things your customers wished you knew is that they absolutely hate this approach and will walk away sooner than you think.

– Of course providing speedy service is vital but if you have not listened and jumped headlong in to what you deem to be an appropriate solution, the result could be quite contrary to what you expected. Another of the things your customers expects you to know is they want speedy service, but prefer quality service. Take the time genuinely to understand the emotional and business needs of customers and then provide offerings and service. This will draw your customers towards you and will play a major role in building a loyal and profitable customer base.

– As a customer everyone at some point has been rewarded for being a customer of a particular brand. Being rewarded and appreciated is one of the major things your customers wished you paid attention to. It would be nice to receive freebies, discounts, special benefits and acknowledgement for being customers. Companies have started doing so openly especially on social media sites naming people who are their major contributors and or buyers. Another aspect of feeling special is when they get a preview of to be launched products – they get to buy and use products that no one else yet has. Gives them boasting rights and makes them feel very important! Of course this is not an exhaustive list on how to reward customers – use your data and resourcefulness to find what will work best for your customers and your company.

– While understanding the things your customers want another obvious is friendly and courteous service. We all know that if as customers we faced rudeness or incompetence we probably swore off the company for good. The same is true therefore for your company’s customers – making them wait, not responding to them, not acknowledging the comments they leave over social media sites and such actions amount to rudeness and a lack of concern for what your customer has to say. Not only must comments and responses be acknowledged, they must be replied and incorporated to enhance the next interaction.

– Just because you have their contact information does not mean that you bombard them with communication. Don’t push or spam them – this is one of the things your customers wished you would remember. The contact information is to form a connection not misuse it and when companies try to hard sell and or coerce customers in to buying through a barrage of messages, customers tend to move away faster. Communicate with your customers but in moderation to ensure they read your messages and do not mark them to junk.

– In the list of things your customers wished you would know and do, is having clear, concise, well-written and easily navigated information on their websites and social media sites. All customers may not be comfortable with the advanced technology on your site but rather than admit it, would just stay away. Avoid industry and product jargon and keep everything simple and easily understandable. Also ensure that there is a live chat option so that while navigating your site they are also able to have their questions answered making it quicker and easier for them to make a decision.

– Despite the actual need for a product or service, customers still would like that you are able to justify why they should buy it. They could have some long standing apprehensions and maybe have had some negative experiences in the past making them extra cautious. Among the things your customers wished you did, would be letting them know that your company and its offerings are highly credible and they would receive the highest level of customer service. Allay their fears by showing them the value and value-add they would receive from your products. Efficient customer service, easy buying, easy return and maybe money-back guarantees would help to justify your claims.

– Reduce customer effort as customers are adept at knowing their rights and will not put in any extra effort if they don’t want to. Everything must be easy – at the click of a button – this is the conditioning and current market scenario, so how can you expect your customers to demand any less or any different. If your company won’t make things easy for them, well they will find someone who can and move away.

– Not difficult to comprehend, among things your customers wished for is to be kept informed. Keep the lines of communication open as too long a pause may be viewed as being ignored or forgotten. Ensure that any updates or information they asked for is given timely. Let them know the status of their order and also if any delays are expected. Customers do not like to be guessing – they want information that is clear, crisp and useful to them. Check with your customers, when in doubt, about how frequently they would like to receive updates and or information and then follow the rhythm. Ensure all communication channels reflect the same information and remain updated at all times.

– Things your customers wished for also includes a high level of trust. They must know that they can trust your company by way of promises being kept. Deliver on promises irrespective of how hard it may be as customers will question your integrity if your actions are different from your words. Customers are investing time and hard earned money in your company and hence have every right to know that your company is not trying to fool them or make a fast buck at their expense. People do business with and buy from people they like and can trust. Ensure that your customers know that you have their best interests in mind while conducting business. Each person in the company must display integrity and transparency.

All the above may seem self-explanatory but often get overlooked. Acting in accordance with these simple rules can help your company gain the customer’s trust, loyalty and make them want to give you repeated business. The more you know the things your customers wished for, the more equipped you will be in understand the ‘secret desires’ of your customers and be able to serve them well.

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