Customer expectations are now higher than they have ever been. Combine that with the present economic situation we are all in, customer retention has become increasingly challenging. But paying attention to one detail can help navigate and keep the focus on your business and that is active listening. When you think about it, you and your team interact with customers all the time. You respond to comments and messages on social media.
How much of their feedback do you actually hear, digest and implement? When you actively tune in, you’ll learn how to better serve your customers and improve customer experience, which encourages repeat business and increases your profit margin.
First, let’s understand what active listening is and how you can leverage it in your business.
Active Listening Defined
1. The first step is to understand the information that is being given. If a customer is reaching out it is because they feel a need is not being met. Instead of looking at it as a negative, learn to change your perspective and see it as an opportunity to improve upon a process. Whenever you stay with what you have been used to doing you stay stagnant. The customer that is reaching out is the one helping your business to update a process that may not be working.
2. The second step is putting into action what you’ve heard—shifting the customer experience or your sales process in response to what the customer said. Get up and do something about it.
This way the customer is assured they have been heard, that you value their input and are seeing to it that something is being done about it. So even though they may have had an issue with an order their trust is earned because they now know that your company cares about them and are more likely to stay with you. Studies have shown that is is 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one. When you understand that you know how imperative it is to actively listen to your customers' concerns.
3. The third step is to read your reviews. By doing this you will discover what you are doing that the customer loves and what needs to be improved upon. Do not rest upon all the positive reviews, they will not help your business grow. Look at those couple of negative ones because those will help you to come up with a better process for doing something. Your business has to keep growing, innovating, adapting and changing to meet the growing demands of what customer expect.