Monday, October 15, 2012

Listening to Dental Customers

“Customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20% to 40% more money with those companies than other customers.” Bain & Company

Your customers are talking.  Telling others about their experience – both good and bad – with your organization.  As Bain & Company discovered in their research, if customers are invested enough to spend time to talk on social media, they are investing their money with you as well.  And they are influencing others which makes their voices are more powerful than ever.

Do you currently have ways to hear the customer’s voice?  Do you directly ask your customers what they think about your organization and their experience?  Do you know all the ways customers try to tell you what is going right and what could improve to make their experience better?  Consider all the ways you can find and listen to the customer’s voice.  

Ask your people.  Anyone who has direct contact with the customer knows the most about how and what they are trying to accomplish, what upsets them, what delights them and what drives them to stay with your company.

Go online.  Find feedback emails to your contact center. Use online survey tools, ask questions on Facebook, poll them on your website, observe their online behavior, and many other ways your customers are telling you what they want.

Find the hidden voices.  Reviewing comment cards, listening to customer service logs and technical support calls, and doing a little “secret shopping” yourself (for example, being with customers in a retail location and listening to conversations) can all help you understand their perspective.   

Talk to them. Pick up the phone and really dig deep into what customers like and don’t like about your business.  You will discover ways to serve them better, listen to their ideas about how you can make their experience easier and more enjoyable.

Confirm you heard them.  Encourage feedback by responding to it.  If you don’t listen and confirm what you heard, they will stop talking and take their business elsewhere.  Give them updates about what you are doing to respond to their issues or overall changes to your products and services.

Share it.  The customer voice is one of the most powerful things to change your organization.  We often become very inwardly focused about our goals and forget theirs.  Everyone in your organization should put on the customer’s shoes and understand their experience.

Reaching out and listening to customers is a critical activity.  It is an ongoing and consistent way to provide valuable insights into how customers experience your organization.  Their voice is the springboard for insights and actions which can lead to financial results. Go find their voice and find the next opportunities for your organization. 

Diane Magers is a team member at the Interactions Group, who help organizations develop and implement customer-focused strategies to improve business performance.

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