No matter what niche or industry you’re in, your customers have high expectations of you. Listening to customers sounds like a really straightforward thing to do, but so many companies don’t actually get this right. Listening could be one of the most important processes when it comes to keeping your customers happy and returning for more.
Whether you’re putting together a strategy to attract new customers, or if you want to make sure you retain existing customers, then active listening is a skill your business needs to develop.
So, how do you improve your customer listening skills? Follow our guide on actually listening to customers to find out why it’s so important, and how you can listen to your customers properly.
Listening to Your Customers
Listening to your customers is something that so many businesses don’t really get right. We’re not only talking about responding to customer complaints and queries. Instead, your company needs to understand the needs and goals of its customers.
You want to stay connected with your customers, what they want, and why they’ve chosen you. If you’re consistently up to date with your customer’s actual experience, then your business will be able to offer more value to them. It’s as simple as that.
Why You Need to Listen to Customers
So, it’s important for your business to listen to customers. Here are 5 of the biggest reasons why.
It Improves Customer Loyalty
Holding on to loyal customers is something that any business needs to make a priority. Even if your customers love your product or service, a bad customer experience could quickly turn them away from your business.
The simple solution to this is to just listen to your customers. Understanding customer feedback and what they want from your business will allow you to deliver the best possible experience alongside your product or service.
You don’t have a lot of room for error when it comes to customer service because a single bad incident is all it takes to lose a customer. This is why consistent listening is so important.
It Reduces Customer Churn
Your product or service will only get you so far. The experience you create with your customers plays a massive role in whether they choose you over your competitor.
Bad customer service is one of the biggest factors that cause customer churn. If a customer has a bad experience, they will soon look towards your competition. Listen to your customers, take their feedback seriously, and keep them interested in your business.
It Can Improve Your Product
Your product may be tried and tested, but listening to your customer’s feedback is the best way to really get all features of your product perfect. Customers can be your best testers, so listen to what they have to say through their actual experience.
Your customer’s opinion of your product is incredibly valuable. They can analyze your product and help to uncover hidden issues that you never knew existed. And if you’re tweaking your product to keep your customers happy, you’ll end up attracting even more customers who want the same features.
Creates Stronger Relationships
Quite simply, paying attention to your customers, listening to them, and taking customer feedback seriously helps to build human relationships. Showing that your company actually has a personal side to it will help customers relate to your business, and it will help them to develop stronger relationships with your company.
If you have a real connection with your customers, then you’re also able to share more insights and news with them. You can also help identify areas of your product that they might not know about. Stronger relationships improve customer retention, helping to create a more positive image for your brand.
It Can Help You Sell More
Hearing your customers out is also a great way to understand what services they’re getting value from, and what additional services they might need. One of the big benefits of being able to connect with your customers is that you can identify new prospects for them and boost your sales.
Upselling is important for any business, and you will have much more success with it if you really listen to your customers’ opinions and experiences.
How to Listen to Customers
Listening to your customers sounds really simple, right? Well, many businesses dont actually embrace customer feedback very well. If you want to improve the way your business connects with its customers, then make sure you’re doing the following.
Make it Easy for Customers to Get in Touch With You
You can’t listen to your customer if they aren’t able to get in touch with you. It’s that simple. Consider adding feedback forms with an online form builder and help hotlines to your website. Something that your business should do is open up its channels to be able to accept feedback from its customers.
This is something that can be easily achieved through your various marketing channels. For example, your business should embrace customer feedback in its email campaigns by letting email recipients reply, and then responding back to them.
Something as simple as finishing your email off with a “Reply to this email and let us know what you think” can go a long way. You can still use automated marketing tools to schedule these emails, and then make sure that any replies get sent to your inbox. This opens up communication and makes it easy to listen to feedback and respond from your actual email account.
Responding to comments on your social media posts, and engaging with your followers is also important.
Send Out Regular Communications
If you want to hear what your customers have to say, then it’s always a good idea to start the conversation yourself. Regular communications sent out from your brand make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you. Then you can respond to them, and they feel like you have listened to their requests.
The right email automation software is essential for sending out successful messages without having to put in much effort. This allows you to address your customers directly, and it makes them feel like they’re more connected to your brand.
You can use automation for social channels too. This way, you can be responsive without having to lose sleep because of social media work.
Deliver the Right Content to the Right Customers
If you want your customers to connect with you over any queries that they might have, then you want to start by building the right relationship with them. This is essential for effective marketing campaigns, but it also shows that you’re paying more attention to your customers and their journey.
To do this, you will need to be using the right leads database. This allows you to segment your mailing list subscribers into different groups. For example, you can have a list of existing customers, and interested potential customers. This allows you to send out the right content to each group, making it easier for them to connect with you.
Send Out Customer Appreciation Emails
Maybe your customer gave you a great review, and they love your product. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to hold onto them forever. You still need to provide an amazing customer experience for better retention.
Customer appreciation emails are an effective way of doing this. Sending out these emails from employees to your customers makes it easier for a conversation to start and for you to start listening. Customer appreciation emails show your customers that there’s an actual person delivering written content to them, making it easier for them to connect.
Check out these easy examples of customer appreciation emails that you can start to implement.
Communicate With Customers Across Various Channels
Different customers prefer different channels, so focus on all of them. You have to be able to listen to and engage with users on social media, email, phone calls, and so on. Talk to people through each of your channels, and don’t just have one line for people to get in touch.
Popups on your website can be a great way of letting people get in touch with you easily. With the right popup tool, you can trigger certain popups to appear across certain landing pages. A simple “Want to find out more?” or a “How can we help you?” can be incredibly effective at opening up communication and improving customer service.
Listen to the Actual Person
Great customer service isn’t just about focusing on the problem, it’s about listening to the person.
When you talk to a customer, pay attention to their personality and opinion. Don’t just think about what business solution is right for them, but try to think about how you can offer them real benefits. You want to be able to offer solutions and advice that the customer trusts, and feels like they will gain something from. If possible, consider looking into video chats for customer support. Aiming for personalization is always important.
Your customers determine the success of your business, so never forget to actually listen to them. It’s so important that all businesses set themselves up in a way that allows customers to easily communicate and feel like they’re being listened to.
Your marketing tools are not just there to access more sales. They should also be used as resources for your customers to connect with you.
Genuine listening will go a long way in holding onto your customers and improving the way they perceive your business. Try out the following customer service methods and resources, and you should certainly see a rise in happier customers. This will help you win more customers over from your competitors, as well as getting your customers to come back again for a return purchase.
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