We’re coming to the end of February and the end of our series on showing appreciation to the most important people to a business – customers. We end on a high note by discussing the importance of reaching out and getting the opinion of customers.
Have you ever heard of the 80-20 Rule?
The 80-20 rule states that good communication is based on the foundational principle of spending the majority of your time listening and the minority of your time talking. Far too many of us use conversations as a bludgeon to get our points across, often neglecting to listen to what the other party is telling us. Think of how many times you’ve left a conversation annoyed the other person was talking at you? And, this rule doesn’t just apply to personal conversations, it also carries huge importance for sales and customer service.
How many marketers stick to this rule and take the opportunity to canvass the opinions of their customers? It’s probably less than you think but it should be a core part of the sales process.
Listening is Key to Customer Appreciation
When you listen to a customer you gain an appreciation for what genuinely matters to them. You hear their concerns and gauge their opinion on how your product or service works for them. Alongside the feeling of acknowledgement the customer receives, this will also allow you to keenly understand where the value is in your product/service and really focus on how to convey this value to your audience.
Ways to Listen to Your Customers
Listening is a skill that can be worked on, it just takes practice. For a business, it can involve a shift in processes to become more transparent and receptive to receiving feedback. Depending on the nature of your business, and the product or service you offer, there are a variety of ways you can set yourself up to listen more effectively and gauge the opinion of your customers. Here are some simple tips:
Develop a Survey
A simple step for online businesses is to develop a survey and garner direct feedback from clients. While uptake on these surveys can be low, there are ways to effectively juice the number of participants by offering incentives for taking part. Do you offer any free guides or resources? Gate them behind the survey and only provide the link when clients complete it. If that isn’t applicable, offer a discount or some other perk to encourage feedback.
Be Pro-Active and Not Reactive
Don’t wait for customers to come to you with complaints. Instead, reach out after each purchase (if possible) and engage with them on how their sales experience was. Be active on social and don’t just use it as a sales channel. You’re in business because you’re an expert in your field. Don’t be afraid to use this expertise to help people with problems in your area of interest. Showing your willingness to have an open dialogue on social media is worth a LOT in terms of marketing.
Wait and Don’t Predict
In a conversation, how often do we already have our response prepared before the other person stops talking? This is a habit salespeople need to get out of. Instead of predicting, be patient. Every customer experience is unique and deserves full attention. You don’t have to be standing by with a response to provide a great customer service. Instead, it’s better to provide the correct answer than a prompt one.
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If one of your goals involves starting, or growing, a business in 2020, GD Commerce is here to help. Contact Us and find out how we can lessen the load.