Customers First: Solve Their Problems, Improve Your Company
Which response do you think puts customers first?
Contractor A: “We noticed that a lot of our customers were asking about XYZ, so we started a new program to respond to their concerns. I’m not saying we rushed into it. We did some market research, then we hired and trained staff. Then we launched the new service, and it has helped us reach new markets.”
Contractor B: “Yeah, our customers ask about XYZ all the time. I tell them, ‘Sorry, we don’t do that.’”
Let’s assume you answered A. Customer feedback can help guide your company’s future – when you listen, learn and apply. And that’s one way company success begins by putting customers first.
Which response shows how well you’re listening?
Contractor A: “One of our customers said he couldn’t read our website on his smartphone. I apologized and said that we are behind-the-curve in getting our website mobile-responsive. But that is our top priority for 2017. Then I called our team together and said, “We’ve got to get this done now.”
Contractor B: “One of my customers said he couldn’t read our website on his smartphone. We know we need a new website, but we just can’t afford it now. Hopefully our customers will deal with the frustration of ‘pinch and zoom’ to read our content until we have a chance to take care of it.”
Which response shows how well you understand customer frustrations?
Contractor A: “Our team has been really busy, so we tell our customers upfront that we have a lot of service calls scheduled today. We don’t want them to have to be inconvenienced about a long wait for our guys to show up, so we will call them thirty minutes ahead of time to let them know we are on our way so they can meet our tech at their house.”
Contractor B: “Our team has been really busy, and we tell people, ‘Hang tight. We’ll get to you as soon as we can – hopefully today.’”
Hopefully, you have an understanding that your company is not “us vs. customers” but “us plus customers.” In other words, you are working together to solve their problems, and by doing so, you improve your company and your bottom line.
Here are two more thoughts to add to this thinking. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing writes: “People don’t want what you sell – they want what they believe they will get, achieve, relieve, dodge or acquire based on buying what you sell.” So just because you have awesome services and products, that’s not enough to convince someone to trust you for their business. Instead, you have to demonstrate why it matters.
As Jantsch writes, “People aren’t searching for your solutions, but they search every single day for ways to address problems they see and feel.” And this is why “Problems We Solve” would be a better webpage heading than “Solutions We Provide.” Get the picture?
In your services and operational processes, focus on customers – keeping in mind what they want, and how what you offer will save time, money, headaches. And be sure to train all team members on this mindset. The time you spend educating your team on how to make a good first impression and create a strong lasting impression will be well worth your effort.
Unless everyone in your company understands the importance of listening, recognizes the value of customer feedback and knows to bring it to attention – you could create a whole lot of problems for yourself.