Yes, we get it! Life is busy. We are all busy with the business of business. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that our clients’ are to be at the heart of our business. They do kind of get in the way…
However, never underestimate the power of client feedback. Knowledge is power. It’s tangible data that can then be used to make better business decisions. It can be used to develop and train staff as well as to motivate and celebrate success.
When you receive negative feedback, it should be viewed as a nugget of gold. This nugget is a valuable insight that we are able to use to improve ourselves, thus satisfying more customers and ultimately resulting in further loyalty as well as a possible increase in customers.
We have seen it time and time again, that when there is authentic concern over client feedback, and it’s managed quickly, the outcome is truly astounding. We have witnessed relationships grow and flourish due to their concerns being addressed and rectified, and this humble principle should be adopted by all establishments wanting to maintain and grow their business.
Make no mistake, clients love the opportunity to give feedback, and if they are kept in the loop and know that their contribution makes a difference, it enhances and develops brand loyalty. If one translates the client feedback into actionable insights, everybody wins.
These are the 5 principles that you need to remind yourself of in order to improve your business:
- Authentic leadership
Every business needs to encourage authentic leadership in order to be a client-centric organization and therefore a business of high performance.
Sincerity, encouragement and support go a long way. One must lead with heart, be self-aware and have the ability to reflect on one’s actions and decisions.
Authentic leaders have long-term vision and build strong, long-term relationships. They don’t say things they don’t mean. They have good listening skills. They are not fickle; they are consistent and stick to their principles. They examine their strengths and weaknesses with no biased opinion.
- Empowered staff
Your best plans in terms of creating great customer experiences will come to nothing if you have frustrated and disempowered staff!
- Your team understands your vison clearly and what your goals and expectations are. They need to be given generous boundaries to perform and exceed client expectation.
- You have a reward system and always encourage self–improvement.
- You motivate them and inspire creative thinking.
Like you, your employees must also strive for excellence. This motivation needs to be instilled daily through good leadership in order to obtain the desired results. Every business starts with the people operating the engine of the you vehicle. The employees need to be just as satisfied as the clients. They are an imperative part of your company’s harmonious functionality. Never forget that.
- Outside-in thinking
When last did you imagine what it’s like to do business with YOU? What’s it like to be your client? Put yourself in your client’s shoes as often as you can. Explore how they experience the tour through your website as objectively as possible. Consider their experience when dialing into your offices as well as when physically arriving at your offices. How smooth is the invoicing process? How easy is it to do business with you? Does you business make it easy to complain, give feedback and ask for help? How seamless is the experience?
These questions are difficult to answer when you have been so deeply submerged into your business and industry where you understand a lot more than your average customer. Asking staff member who actually deals with the customer may also be highly beneficial. Our technology and society is ever changing and evolving constantly, and we need to ask ourselves these questions often in order to see if we are keeping up.
Outside-in thinking is a critical principle to embrace in order to evolve your proposition to be truly client-centric. Only once you start to think of what it’s like to BE a client, can you start to change key or critical pain points in your business, which will make the biggest positive difference for your customers.
- Attention to detail
Once you get into the habit of putting your clients at the front and centre of your business, you can take your client experience to the next level. Passion for detail will make your customers sit up and take notice. The key to the extraordinary is nuance. The devil is in the detail. It is the granular details coupled with having insight into what the customer emotion could likely be at a moment of truth. Often, It’s making 100 small changes in order to determine different customer emotions and then establishing which changes will have the biggest impact. There is ALWAYS room for improvement. Customer emotional reactions are there to help attain such intricate information, helping you become aware of the small adjustments that you can make.
The last principle is communication, which is often taken for granted. Remember that it’s often not what you communicate, but HOW. We are all so busy and all clients have a barrage of information 24/7. Ensure that your communication is consistent, informative, engaging and to the point. Style and tone (whether digital or in person) is extremely important. In order to communicate effectively to an individual you need to speak to their needs, utilizing their language and tone.
If you can call a client rather than e-mailing, you should! People respond better to actual people rather than to screen of a machine. E-mails can be dismissed and forgotten, while a personality leaves an impression.
Following up with clients is also important. We need to keep reminding them of our existence and making them aware of our improvements. Staying in touch keeps your brand top-of-mind, which is the aim of any business. Showing that your clients are valuable by touching base once in a while, retains their loyalty.
Client opinion CREATES our business. External perception is what literally defines a brand. The degree of loyalty of our customers is determined through our meeting and satisfying their needs and expectations. We need to polish the inside of our business in order to grow and strengthen, and therefore satisfy our clients.
These mentioned principles within our establishments should be as genuine as possible so that the exterior of the brand exudes sincerity. Therefore attracting customer loyalty in return, which, at the end of the day, is the fuel for our engine so that we can keep heading towards success, full steam ahead!