In our last post, we talked about the first secret to building a solid customer service plan and how to decide what your vision is.
Today, we’ll talk about the second secret in transforming your satisfied customers to raving fans. To do so, you must know what your customers want. If you know who your customers are, you will know better how to serve them. Demographics are really important here. For instance, an upper-class woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a working class man in his 50’s.
There are four main areas you need to consider and plan when determining what your customers want:
- Listen to Your Customers
- Ask Your Customers Sincerely
- Offer More than Just a Product/Service
- Know When to Ignore Them
These are all important when deciding what your customers want out of their evaluation, shopping, customer onboarding, ongoing marketing outreach, and service experience with your company.
Listen to Your Customers
You need to listen to both what they say and what they don’t say. Customers may say they want one thing and really mean something else. For example, if you customers are begging for lower prices, you may find out their real priority is quick delivery.
Also, listen to your “silent” customers. These are the customers that don’t bother to complain because the service is so awful they’ve just given up and don’t even feel like their voice matters. They feel unwanted and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone before you know it.
Lastly, you need to listen to customers who only reply with “fine”. These customers are similar to the “silent” customers in that they are so used to poor customer service they only give a monotone response.
Ask Your Customers Sincerely
If you aren’t sincere when you ask their opinion, they are going to see right through you. You may be thinking, “What about the customers who aren’t saying anything?” You need to ask them sincere questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Make them feel like you really care, and you should!
Offer More than Just a Product/Service
Your customers are looking for much more than a simple product or service. Rather, they are looking for an end-to-end customer experience that makes them feel good. They gauge every step of the marketing, sales, and service process with a value. When you take this into consideration and treat them like people, they will feel like they belong.
Know When to Ignore Them
You may think this goes beyond providing good customer service, but in reality you can’t give them everything and there are some prospects and customers that you will never make happy. You have to set limits and stick to them.
If your vision and company don’t meet the needs of the customer, they really are best suited somewhere else. This may be tough for you to accept when you are in start-up mode and aggressively trying to grow your business, but the more mature organizations successfully scale by only working with their ideal customer profile. They don’t waste time trying to please everyone. Though your intentions may be good, it’s just not possible and practical. Instead, go all out and consistently over-deliver to your current customer base and distinct target market. That’s much more sustainable and will give you far more peace of mind and much less headaches along your growth trajectory and customer journey.
These are the steps and tricks to figuring out what your customers want and how you can use them to formulate, refine, and solidify your customer service vision and plan.
If you get stuck, be sure to leverage our business breakthrough expertise and business elevation coaching services. Let us help you through the process to improve not just your client service, but also your entire customer experience.
People only remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising, and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, though. In fact, this could easily drive customers away. Instead, you need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable. Then, you need to market it as extraordinary and new.
How and Why to Conduct Word of Mouth Market Research
As you’re researching Word of Mouth (WOM), there are some questions you need to ask along the way:
- What are your customers/users willing to tell the non-users?
- Exactly how do your customers describe your product?
- What are the non-users willing to ask the users?
- What are the things they need to know, but are unwilling to ask?
- What happens when these issues are raised?
- Exactly what do your prospects have to know in order to trigger a purchase?
- Exactly how do your customers answer the objections, concerns, and qualms of your prospects?
- How do your customers persuade their friends to use your product?
- How do your customers suggest they initially get to know or try your product?
- What warnings, safeguards, tips, and suggestions do your customers suggest to your prospects?
- Are your sales messages, positioning, and important facts about your product getting through and surviving Word of Mouth?
- What messages do you need to inject into the marketplace in order to turn the tide in your favor and how will you deliver them?
There are two main reasons why Word of Mouth research is so important:
- To get the real impression and feedback from customers.
- To define Word of Mouth itself and the concept it creates.
There is a simple formula that can help you conduct your Word of Mouth research. It’s called the “2-2-2” model.
The 2-2-2- Model
What this breaks down to is:
- 2 groups of customers
- 2 focus groups of prospects
- 2 mixed groups (enthusiasts & skeptics)
In these groups you need to ask the following questions:
- What would you tell a friend?
- How would you persuade a skeptic?
- What questions would you anticipate from a skeptic?
- How would you answer their objections?
The best way to conduct these groups is by teleconference. This ensures you’ll get a good variety of demographics for your customers and potential customers. It also allows people to feel safe and more able to express their true feelings. These teleconferences should not be conducted by you, but rather by an independent party to avoid adding pressure to the situation.
The Pillars of a Well-Crafted Word of Mouth Campaign
Now, we’re going to transition a bit and talk about how to construct a Word of Mouth campaign. First, we’ll take a look at the essential ingredients you need to put together a campaign. These ingredients are:
- A superior product
- A way of reaching key influencers in your marketplace
- A cadre of experts willing to go to bat for you
- A large number of enthusiastic consumers
- A way of reaching the right prospects
- One or more compelling stories that people will want to tell to illustrate your product’s superiority
- A way to substantiate, prove, or back up your claims and how the product will work in the real world
- A way for people to have a direct, low-risk experience, a demo, sample, or free trial
- A way of reducing overall risk and an ironclad guarantee
Once you have those ingredients ready to use, you should consider the situations in which your company can benefit from a strong Word of Mouth program. Some of these situations are:
- When there are credibility problems
- When there are breakthroughs
- When there are marginal improvements
- Where the product has to be tried in large numbers or over time
- Where there is a high risk in trying the product
- With older or mature products that have a new story that people tend to ignore
- With dealing with unfair competitive practices, such as spreading rumors or telling lies about your product
- When there are governmental or other restrictions on what you may say or claim directly
While most of the Word of Mouth tactics are positive for your Word of Mouth program, there are a few products to avoid using in this program. They are:
- Products where a seminar would not provide meaningful added value
- Products that can’t be tried and where there is no consensus among experts
- Products that are clearly inferior, without having a compensating superiority for similar products
- Products that are so personal or emotional that rational discussion is irrelevant to the decision
- Products where the decision value is so small (e.g. low price/low volume) that the medium will not be cost-effective.
This wraps up this post on Word of Mouth research and how it can be used when formulating your Word of Mouth campaign in route to earning more raving fans.
If you need help with this type of marketing research and a proven, polished plan to more effectively leverage its results and enhance your Marketing messaging and ROI, take a quick, guided tour of our Small Business Growth Academy and E-Marketing Platform.
The Rule of 1% is simply defined as adding to your customer service one percent at a time. Before you can do this, though, your team must be consistently adhering to your policies and procedures and be meeting your SLAs or it will never work. This one percent may seem small, but if you approach the customer experience transformation vision for your company with baby steps, you will benefit from huge returns over time. Remember, it’s not a sprint. Rather, it’s a marathon. Before you know it, you’ll be exceeding client expectations and cultivating more customer loyalty and generating more repeat business than ever before.
Avoid doing too much at once or you’ll set yourself up for failure. Think of the confidence you and your employees will have when you improve one percent each week. By the end of a year, you’ll have improved more than 50%!
While rules and standards are necessary for growth, it’s key to always be flexible with your best customers. For instance, most retailers only allow a set number of items into a dressing room to reduce the risk of shoplifting. However, doing so generally restricts the large percentage of people who are not stealing from you. Flexibility is the key to what you deliver to your customers and consistency is the key to how you deliver it.
The bottom line is customers rely on you to deliver what you promise. If you spend too much on bulky advertising that promises more than you can deliver, even your best intentions will unravel quickly and you will fail. Focus on your vision and take baby steps to turn your satisfied customers into “Raving Fans“.
I hope you’ve learned a lot about superior customer service and how it’s essential to your overall success. If you need help with any of the steps we’ve gone through over the last four lessons try our GUIDED TOUR and get access to some of the best resources, tools and business elevation coaches available.
In upcoming posts we’re going to explore strategies of landing larger, ideal clients and how to make them customers for life. Until then, to your success!
In our last post we talked about how to uncover what your customers want out of a positive shopping experience. Today, we’ll explore the concept of “Deliver +1” and how it can take your customer service to the next level. I’ve decided to split up this blog into two entries and the next related post will address the “1% Rule“.
Consistency is the key to any unparalleled customer service experience. If you want to take your satisfied customers to “Raving Fan” status, you absolutely must go above and beyond the average customer service experience.
There are three ways to develop consistency:
Simple and Clear Customer Service Options
We sometimes get so caught up in giving customers what they want that we begin to sail away from our original vision. Instead, stay true to your vision and offer one or two solid customer service techniques that will distinguish you from the competition. You need to fine-tune the current systems you’re using before you can add anything to the mix. There’s nothing worse than launching a new program when you haven’t even worked out the kinks of an old system.
Once you know what you’re going to offer, you need to have a system in place to execute it flawlessly every time. This system needs to utilize the right people in the right roles and responsibilities as well as technology that guarantees a positive experience every time. Emphasis needs to be placed on the results, which ultimately is the satisfaction of the customer.
Tremendous Staff Training
Once you have your system in place you need to train people to use it properly and efficiently. This helps your people deliver the results your customers are looking for. Since training is essential for the system to thrive and for all your people to work together cohesively, employee appreciation and ongoing training and continuing education will go a long way.
I hope this has given you a look into what you need to do in order to have a quality customer service process in place. If you need additional assistance, our RevSherpas Growth Academy has a wealth of resources, tools and coaching on not only client service, retention, and reactivation, but also lead generation, marketing, and business development. Check it out to elevate to the top of your industry TODAY!