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Article Contributed by Brooke Cade

So you’ve been gathering customer feedback and you’ve gotten what you believe to be honest responses from your customers and now you can either pat yourself on your back or make a few tweaks to achieve the next level of customer satisfaction. That’s great! …Isn’t it? Actually, no.

Instead take the customer experience to the next level and actively listen to the voice of your customer with the full intention of implementing real changes they actually want to see.

The Wrong Way of Asking

“Fine.”

That’s the typical response everyone gives when asked “How you are doing?” But replying “fine” doesn’t give any details and doesn’t share any real feelings. The same can apply when you ask your customers about their experiences with your company. Most often, their responses will be a meager “fine.”

The problem? Your question is a) too common, b) too general, and c) too brief.

Traditional long-form customer surveys aren’t much better as they tend to have numerous inherent faults, which can include:

  • Putting your own words in your customer’s mouth.

  • Giving over-simplified answers to multifaceted problems.

  • Catching only a narrow portion of your demographic.

  • Inconveniencing your customer.

  • Waiting too long to survey until after a particular customer experience.

  • Sitting on results without knowing what to do with them.

You’re Not Listening to Me

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone when a disagreement begins to escalate the tone of the conversation from mere annoyance to agitation and anger? When that happens, how often does the phrase, “You’re not listening to me!” come out of someone’s mouth?

The truth is, when someone tells us we aren’t listening, often we actually are listening…but only to their words. What we need to be doing is listening to what they are trying to say but aren’t articulating.

Don’t Get Lost in Translation

Have you ever tried using Auto Translate on a foreign-language website? The results are, at best, mixed. You can decipher the main points but might get a little lost in the details.

Similarly, once you have gathered all your customer’s feedback data, translating it can get a little muddy. A correct interpretation may feel like anyone’s best guess.

For instance, if you are looking to reveal a certain trend, chances are you can find one. If you are hoping for a specific result, the data can be easily manipulated in order to give it to you.

Changes That Make Your Customers Like You

All of these scenarios prove that simply listening to what your customers are telling you isn’t enough. By a long shot.

In order to understand your customer’s true voice, you need to do the following three things:

  1. Ask the right people. Ask the right questions. Ask in the right way.

  2. Listen not only to their words but in between them. What is their tone? What are their emotions? What actions are they taking?

  3. Use undeniable, advanced analytics to diagnose root causes, generate verifiable insights, and apply tactical strategies that pay off.

Once you do these three things, you will be better equipped to make the changes that your customer are afraid to ask for or don’t even necessarily know they want.

Staying ahead of the customer curve is an invaluable tactic in the continually quickening pace of modern business. So find ways to engage with your customers which will allow them to openly share their suggestions, feedback, and their stories with you in a way that will benefit everyone and bring greater ROI.

About the Author: Brooke Cade is a freelance writer who’s committed to helping businesses and sales professionals build stronger connections with their customers. She writes for a variety of publication including InMoment.com.


 
 
 

 
 

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