You have a clear product vision. Your sales team is on fire. You have a customer service department that solves issues for customers as they arise. You think you’re doing all the right things. Still customers are walking in the front door and then directly out the back door far more often than you want. There are three areas you could be neglecting that hold the key.
1 – You’re not seeing your customer’s behavior
There are several data points that can give you insight into how your customers are using your product. Analytical tools can be used to see exactly what features customers are using and what features they are avoiding. They can tell you where customers hesitate or stumble on a webpage. You can also see the frequency at which customers are using your product. In the case of a product with progression, such as an online education course, you can see rates at which customers are moving through the curriculum. You can see the type and respective quantities of service cases coming in through all your customer service channels. All these sources of objective data give invaluable insight into not only how your customers are using your product, but where key areas of frustration might lie.
2 – You’re not hearing your customer’s voice
There are multiple touchpoints throughout a customer’s lifecycle where you could be gathering their input. You can put together a survey strategy to gather NPS data (How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend or colleague?). Customer satisfaction can be measured after each encounter with customer service. You can ask customers who have cancelled their reasons for leaving. Categorizing and quantifying scores and reasons can provide trend data for making strategic and management decisions. There is always limited value in asking customers to choose from a predefined list of categories. The real gold comes in allowing customers to give the reason for their scores or action in their own words. This allows your categories to be created more organically and, most importantly, your solutions to address the right problems.
3 – You’re not talking with your customers
Engaging in dialogue with your customers can take several forms. You can have customer advisory councils you meet with regularly or a cadence of randomized customer outreach. You can discuss changes and improvements as they are implemented or ask questions of your customers in a social media platform or other customer engagement forum. If there are features or policies that some customers are very publicly critical of, don’t ignore that…use the forum to engage and address problem areas. Finally, if a customer took the time to provide feedback, make sure to acknowledge it. It may be a simple thank you for positive feedback, but for negative feedback, outreach can not only save that customer, but provide you with valuable information to drive your improvements going forward.
By considering your customer’s objective behavior and subjective perceptions and actively engaging in dialogue with them, you have built the foundation for truly doing “all the right things”.