Why bother listening to your customers?

Post by Sara

It’s no secret – listening to customer feedback is critical to improving your business. Capturing both positive and negative feedback has business value. However, many companies don’t put customers at the center of their process and treat “feedback” like a buzz word. This forces me to ask: Why make customer feedback a priority?

Build Customer Loyalty:

Many companies recognize their most loyal customers to be the most satisfied. But what about the customers who are dissatisfied? Is it possible to build loyalty among even the most dissatisfied of customers?

According to a study carried out by customer experience research company Technical Assistance Research Programs Inc., customers that complain or have constructive feedback, and then see the problem solved, are up to 8% more loyal than those who didn’t even have a problem in the first place. (Increasing Customer Satisfaction, U.S Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, CO, 1986) But, what does this mean? Fixing customer satisfaction requires that we first listen to the problem.

It’s that simple: show your customers you care about them enough to hear what they have to say. There may not be a solution to building 100% customer loyalty, but listening to your customers is an excellent starting place.

Lower Research Costs:

Take another look at customer feedback. Instead of only viewing it as “listening,” think of it as free market research for your next business roadmap.

A leader in product innovation management, Accept Corporation found that around 25% of all customer ideas and feedback turn into new products. Findings from this study also showed a lost opportunity when it came to companies failing to develop products based on features that customers want and will pay for. Remember, great ideas can come from your customers.

Many companies are growing because they are listening to their customers. Take e-commerce company Volusion – their customers gave free ideas for new products and product features. This led to more than 90% of new product ideas coming from customers, which increased company revenues. Use your customer’s ideas as input for your next product roadmap. Your clients will tell you what they want, you just have to be willing to listen.

Free Marketing:

When you receive good customer service, you are more likely to recommend the company to your friends. Well, the result is the same when companies listen to and act on customers’ thoughts: a.k.a. word of mouth marketing.

You can – and should – use feedback as part of your marketing campaign. Here’s a tip: Every time you are recommended by a customer or get good feedback, you should ask to use it as a testimonial. If you receive constructive or negative feedback, act on it. Show your customers that you are listening to them and want to be better. People talk positively about the companies they have good experiences with, and listening to your customers creates good experiences. It’s simple, listen to your customers to keep them happy, and in return they will promote your business.

Start Listening:

It isn’t expensive nor is it difficult to listen to your customers, however failing to do so can be costly. Whether you are using surveys, social media, or idea capturing and management apps like MileMarker, the key is simply make listening to your customers a priority.

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