Listening to Customers: Why & How?

Listening to Customers: Why & How?

“Listen to your customers before they listen to your competition.” – Julian Hall 

When was the last time you looked at the customer service of your favorite brand?

Did you realize that they are constantly listening to you? This is something that is not communicated to customers and is done silently. If you need to fix a problem, chances are that your favorite brand is already aware of the problem and is already on the way to fixing it.

It’s not about getting customers to talk about their problems, it’s about allowing them to have a voice and letting them know that you do care about what they have to say.

That’s why listening to your customers is important! However, listening is not a one-time process. Listening is a lifelong learning experience.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of listening to your customers, and how businesses can benefit from their feedback. 

Why should you listen to your customers?

What is customer service? It’s about listening to your customers very closely. 

Listening is so important in business because if you have a problem that needs to be solved, chances are your customers do too and when they reach out to you, it’s a sure bet that they need help because quite simply, they just can’t figure it out on their own. That’s where you come in.

Listening to a customer requires more than just hearing what they have to say over the phone or in a physical interaction you and your business may be having with them.

It’s about seeing things from their perspective, making sure that you understand just how to assist them in meeting their goals so that ultimately some sort of mutual understanding and trust can develop.

The best service reps are like Eagles because they’re always on the lookout for someone who needs help and swoops in to lend a hand. 

Excellent listeners, these agents avoid redundant questioning that would otherwise increase friction between consumers and service representatives.

To summarize, listening to your customers has several benefits. Let’s quickly cover some of these advantages further below!

  • Having a Dialogue with Your Customers:

    Listening to your customers has many benefits. One of the best is that it keeps you in touch with what is popular and what is not.

    To make the most of this knowledge, you should use the system of asking and answering three simple questions:

    • What are you doing?
    • How is it working?
    • What has changed?

    Asking these three questions regularly will keep you apprised of the latest and greatest in your industry.

  • An Engaging Approach to Enhanced Retention:

    Every customer is different, so it’s important to listen to them and see what they have to say. You need to find out what they’re satisfied with, and what they are unhappy with. Some of your customers may have ideas that can help you create a better product or service.

    If you are willing to listen, you’ll be able to hear what your customers want and fix any problems before it becomes a bigger issue.

    For example, if your company offers a product that has an issue with how it’s packaged, most likely someone has complained and told you about it. Being proactive in this situation will save you time and money in the long run.

  • Boost Awareness, Decrease Churn:

    No company wants to lose its clientele, but unfortunately, it happens all too often. A Forbes study estimates that 96% of your customers leave each day because the services they receive were not satisfactory.

    The main reason customers switch providers is because they don’t feel valued during service interactions. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem: provide excellent customer service to retain your clients!

  • Secure Customer Satisfaction:

    Asking the opinions of your customers is an amazing way to ensure you are providing them with what they want. In this respect, one of the best pieces of advice is: Don’t ask for opinions – offer suggestions and recommendations for betterment. You can do this by asking questions that require actionable feedback from your respondents rather than opinion-based questions.

  • Upselling Cross-selling Opportunities:

    Customers might come to you with specific requests or concerns. However, the trouble that they’re having with your product or service is a tip for an upsell.

    Let’s say for example that a customer has come to you about problems their website has been having and in their frustration, they mention the fact that there have been some delays in getting certain features set up to work properly on the site. Because of this, the company is not able to communicate as effectively as they think it should be and this has been detrimental for lost customers and upset clients.

    Now as a member of support, you can turn around and tell them about an upgrade option that lets users add more storage space where their website files will be hosted through our server.

    Additionally, if a smaller business doesn’t need all of these features yet but realizes they’re going to eventually. You can offer them advanced access so those features will already be available when they’re ready to use them.

Here are some tips for listening to your customers:

Listening to your customers can be the difference between a good customer service experience and a horrible one. Listening to your customers can help you address problems faster and improve the overall experience you’re giving them. Your customers are your best source of feedback.

Take the time to listen to what they say, and you’ll have a better chance at improving your customer experience.

  • Listen to what they have to say: 

    Businesses that listen to their customers often thrive. Those that do not often fail. So how can you listen to your customers? How do you learn what they want and how they want to be treated?

    The following are the top ways to listen to your customers and improve your business.

    • Start a feedback loop.
    • Look for opportunities to get feedback.
    • Be open to feedback.
    • Look for opportunities for improvement.
  • Identify the customer’s preferred channels of communication and engage with them:

    Customer service managers can engage with marketing managers or product marketers to learn more about your customer personas and identify how they prefer to interact with the brand.

    Consider, for example, if you’re doing business with a millennial clientele. Social media might be an effective customer service channel for you if that’s the case. You can respond to a question posted by someone who follows your business on Instagram by simply commenting on their post. In this way, customers won’t have to go through another channel to get an answer to a question they may have.

  • Do Not Say These Things To Customers:

    There are many things one should never say to a customer, even if the rep thinks they have a good solution at hand. The customer may not be ready for the solution or be in a place where hearing about solutions would throw them off course. Telling customers what you think their issues are can force them into whatever mental framework you’ve been trying to set for weeks or even days, and this can only end badly for every action taken after it.

The bottom line:

Listening and responding to your customers is one of the best things you can do to start a great customer service experience, and it’s not that difficult. Many businesses and organizations struggle with the idea of listening to their customers, though. But the simple truth is that customers want to be heard. They want their opinions and suggestions to be considered, and they want to be treated fairly. It’s a simple concept. Listening to your customers, and then responding to their needs is the foundation of good customer service. Good customer service is one of the main things that sets one business apart from another.

Author Profile

Varuna Raghav
Varuna Raghav
As a CX and marketing specialist, Varuna Raghav has more than 15+ years of experience to her name. Her enriching input has been valuable to the brands and organizations she's worked with.

3 responses to “Listening to Customers: Why & How?”

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