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It’s no secret that effective communication is the key to great business. We’ve heard it a thousand times, but it’s true. Good communication, in its many forms, does wonders for productivity, morale, and efficiency within any company.
But are you being as effective of a communicator with your customers as you should be?
When it comes to first-class communication with customers, listening is perhaps the best thing you can do. And the best listeners are the ones who give their customers room to talk. That’s why targeted customer satisfaction programs, backed by solid customer satisfaction market research, are one of the best ways to increase communication with your customers.
When it comes to customer satisfaction programs, it’s best to think of them as conversations. Here are the top 5 items to think about when giving your customers room to use their voice.
It’s always best to know who you’re in conversation with, or at least who you want to be in conversation with. This is where good customer satisfaction market research can come in. Don’t just open the forum to anyone. Before you do anything else, be sure to know who your customers are.
This goes right along with targeting. Once you know who your customers are you can begin thinking about how best to communicate with them. Are your customers internet users? Maybe an online survey is the best way to go. Are they more traditional? Perhaps a good old phone call will get them talking. For customers with smart phones, printing receipts with QR codes that link to a survey might be the ticket.
It all depends on who your customers are and how well you know them. Sometimes even a nice face-to-face conversation will yield the best results.
It may seem obvious, but just like in any everyday conversation, tone of voice and respect are vitally important. Again, it all goes back to knowing your customers. Ask too many questions, and they will be turned off. Ask questions that are too complex, and they won’t know what to say. Call the wrong person at home, and you may just lose a customer.
It’s a delicate situation, so proceed with care. Make it clear that your intention is to get to know your customer better, not to annoy or sell them anything.
Answers Over Questions
Less obvious than tone and manners, but equally as important, is the type of questions you ask.
Journalists, talk show hosts, and good conversationalists know this one already-it’s not always best to ask the question that’s at the front of your mind. Good questions are formulated ahead of time. They expect and attempt to avoid easy answers.
If it helps, think about your questions as prompts. When writing them, ask yourself, What are all of the possible answers this question will receive? How can I edit this to get more useful answers?
By now you’re already thinking about your customer satisfaction program like a conversation, so it should be no surprise that the final item to focus on is response.
A good communicator gives their partner ample time to speak, then offers an acknowledgment or response. The same goes for customer satisfaction programs.
Your response can be as simple as a written thank you, or it can be as grand as a prize drawing or raffle. Whatever the response is, make sure you have one, and make sure it is a genuine thank you, and not an “incentive.” Today’s savvy customers can tell the difference, believe me.
If you are considering a new customer satisfaction program for your business, or a client’s, contact Service Excellence Group. Service Excellence Group are experts in customer satisfaction market research. They offer business services that include mystery shopping, customer feedback, audits, brand research, consulting, training, and more.