As the facilitator of the Customer Service discussion at the May 2011 Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber Cafe, we focused on how to deliver what your customers truly want:
- A positive experience
- A service provider who has
- Understands how they feel
- Creates strong points of connection
Finding out what your customer wants or needs can be tricky.
I've included some questions you might use to demonstrate empathy and uncover wants or needs in the box below in this message.
How do you uncover your what your customer wants? Join in my discussion on Facebook by clicking the link.
At the end of any transaction, if your customer walks away satisfied, there is a good chance you will never see them again.
On the other hand, if you've worked to establish an emotional connection using empathy with your customer's situation and building a relationship of trust and respect, then you've taken steps to create a loyal customer. Loyal customers will be back to do business with you again and they will refer you to their friends and family. You need loyal customers.
Download this workbook now to evaluate how your organization is doing. No sign-up is required.
The definition of empathy is to understand. The customer is not always right. However, your customer always wants to be understood. You show your customer that you are interested and you understand (or empathize) with them when you ask questions like these:
- What is on your mind today?
- What have you considered so far?
- What is your primary concern?
- What has been done to solve your problem?
- What are results to you?
Why a customer service focus is a loser
Satisfaction surveys are unable to predict customer behaviors because they are built on faulty foundations. Many organizations assume that high levels of satisfaction translate into customer loyalty when, in fact, customer satisfaction ratings are more closely linked to your customers' perceptions of your products or service attributes rather than to the value gained by those products or services.
Satisfaction is a measurement of, "I expected it and I got it; therefore, I'm satisfied." If this were translated into a grading system, satisfaction could easily translate into a grade of "C" on any report card. The desired score is obviously an "A" and A's always equate to loyal customers. A's imply that customers got more than they expected and their expectations were exceeded in some way. Based on what is truly important to customers, they received more value from you than from your competitors.
How does your customer define perceived value?
Perceived value occurs at the intersection of what customers want and what they get from you versus what they could get from your competition. See page 4 of the workbook for a diagram. You can only sustain customer loyalty by continually meeting your customers' product/service qualifications, specifications, or expectations.
You also need to meet their needs in the order that customers deem important while maintaining a favorable comparison between you and your competition. In your marketplace, your competitors are the alternative suppliers your customers use to form their comparative value perceptions.
Every service point is critical, and every service point has a level of expectation from the customer that must be understood and managed. To begin to understand what your organization is currently doing and needs to do to be more successful, download this free workbook now.
We'll cover more on Customer Loyalty in future issues of the Resilient Responder. We hope you find this information useful and we encourage you to forward this to people you know who need this information.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Sue Hays Barr
West End NC 27376
Read more about Customer Loyalty
The guru of the concept of customer loyalty (in addition to Peter Drucker) is Fred Reichheld. His book The Ultimate Question describes the process to determine your company's Net Promoter Score (NPS) and offers verified profitable results of businesses who follow the concept of customer loyalty instead of customer satisfaction.