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In last week’s post, we talked about the foundational steps to building a solid customer service plan and how to decide what your company’s vision should be.

In this post, we’ll talk about the second secret in elevating your satisfied customers into raving fans. You must know what your customers want. Know who your customers are and you will know better how to serve them. Demographics are really important here. Obviously, an upper-class woman in her 30’s can have completely different expectations than a working-class man in his 50’s.

There are four main areas you need to consider and plan for when figuring out what your customers want:

  • Listen to Your Customers

  • Ask Your Customers Sincerely

  • Offer More than Just a Product/Service

  • Know When to Direct Them Elsewhere

These are all important aspects to consider when deciding what your customers want out of their shopping experience.

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 your customers are begging for lower prices, you may find out after some probing that their real priority is quick delivery.

Also, listen to your “silent” customers. These customers don’t necessarily bother to complain, but because they feel that service is so bad, that they’ve just given up and don’t feel like their voice matters. They feel unwanted and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone.

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 bad customer service that they only give an unengaged 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, open-ended 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, they are looking for a reciprocated and evolving positive experience. They gauge every step of the process with a value. When you take this into consideration and treat them like valuable members of your customer base, they will feel like they belong.

Know When to Direct Them Elsewhere

You may think this goes beyond providing good customer service, but in reality, you can’t give them everything, and, of course, some people will never be completely happy for one reason or another. You have to set limits and stick to them. If your vision for your company doesn’t meet the needs of a particular customer, they will be best suited somewhere else.

These are some steps to discerning what your customers want and how you can use them as a guide to develop your customer service vision and plan.

If you need some guidance in building your customer service vision for your company, contact us!

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