‘Consumers are statistics. Customers are people.’- Stanley Marcus. Now, Marcus has a great point here. The very passage from people to statistics, yes that is where the trick lies. And, for that, what we need is –connection. Striking that perfect chord; knowing our customers fully so that they can be converted to users. As we all know first impression is the last impression, so with customers it is extremely important to make that first impression and that too-excellent. We must win their hearts. But how to do that? Is that what you are thinking? Well, it is simple.

Do the talking. Indeed, converse with your customers, open up to them and that is where you will set the trigger! Branding takes into considerations a lot of assumptions which must stand true in the product cycle. By talking and having detailed conversations, we can understand their behavior and thus assess our criteria. Efficient communication can go a long way in nurturing relationships with customers which in turn has a positive impact on the business and takes it to heights.

Appreciate their presence and make their experience awesome by adding extra care in your dealings. Customer –focused culture; that is what it should be. Want to be a hit amongst the customers? Want people to consider you? Your words can make you win half the battle….but how to go about? Here, we have some tips for you; read on…

 

1. Team It Up

Customer-Team

Success always comes with collective effort. A team that coordinates well across various departments and bring all the members together, be it product marketing section or design or development section, is the one that brings out the best. Right people when placed together create a great workforce and manage projects in an efficient manner. By incorporating the recommendations given by the customers during interviews, they can increase the amount of purchases.

Time is an important factor that corresponds to the project and should be informed well in advance so that the team can stick to the schedule and follow the deadlines irrespective of the responsibilities they have.

 

2. In Order With Research

Customer-Research

So, a team is formed to work together, but is that team aligned towards the same goal? Are they thinking towards the same target? Yes, that is where agreement should be. Everyone should have the same goals in mind. This will definitely improve the processing and deliver great results. Draft a research plan that can be used by the team to convey and justify the role of the interviews to the outside stakeholders.

It will also make the process more systematic and provide a good roadway. The major criteria of validating the assumptions should always be kept in mind.

 

3. The Major Focus

Customer-goal-focus

The things of prime importance should be kept in focus. Modify the research plan and filter it with the questions that are apt and stand much in relevance. Parameters which have a real value in the project should form the core and the basis of work.  Things should be clear and decided beforehand so as to avoid any negligence. The intention of applying the research or the end result of output, everything should be put forth honestly. The goals and questions must form the underlying basis of the output and should contribute rightly to the end result.

 

4. Screen Participants

Customer-Participants

Since a considerable amount of money is spent in conducting interviews with participants, it is always better to screen participants so as to reduce time wastage and increase the quality of the interviews. Screening can help to find the participants that can rightly match up with the case that you are trying to authenticate. Want to recruit the participants with the right aptitude?

A good way is to write a screener and distribute it amongst all the people as per the sample size present so as to see who can grasp and thus chalk out the people you do not want. The selected participants must sign a Non Disclosure Agreement by the company so as to abide by all the legalities and not violate any conditions.

 

5. Email Is Not Everything

Customer-communication-with-e-mail

If you think that drafting a perfect mail will help you reach the mark in marketing then you are highly mistaken. Mailing list software provides the evidence that no matter how well written the mail is, the response rate can never be great. For that matter, having an open rate is itself a big thing these days. In fact, the mobile users who are hooked to the screen access their mails during their browsing session and then end up archiving all these mails.

Now, if you need a feedback from the customer, you can’t just guess it without getting a valid answer. So, for that valid answer you must put the question at the time when they consider it, probably at the time when they are using the website or the app. Context is what is of major importance in communication.

 

6. As Regular As It Gets

Communicate-with-customer

Customers are very fickle minded. No decision is set in their case. They can change their mind anytime. So, in order to keep them in loop it is better to keep in touch with them on regular basis. There should be someone who does the talking and keeps them informed. Be it the new, old, free, paying or even trial, they should know what all is happening with these customers. Such concerned person should be answerable for all the doubts and must solve all the issues on behalf of the product team.

Make it a point to talk to them frequently and that too in an easy manner so that they can understand what you are talking. Be as open as possible so that the customers can freely express their opinions and put forward the complaints that they have without any hesitation.

 

7.  No Doubt At All

Be-clear-with-customer

Don’t let any speculation arise in the minds of the customers.  Being clear about the users always work as it will not give rise to any debates. Know your users and assess their wants so as to give them as per their expectations and leave them satisfied. A good product does not solely rely on the ability to generate ideas but also on the testing and improvising skills as per the given feedback. Arguments that stand in favor of the features are always worth as they take a stand and erase all the questions from the mind. But these will only work provided they correspond to reality.

 

8. Listen Listen Listen

Listen-To-The-Custumers

Even though you are having a one on one discussion with the customer, it is always important to listen what they want to say. While listening to the opinions of your customers make note of the changes that the company should undergo based on the given feedback and then make sure to follow up. Customers make or break a business, so it is very important to take into consideration all their requests. Customers’ feedback is valuable; always make it a point to know their mindset. Feedback can be collected via surveys, focus groups, observation, customer service and social media etc.

 

9. Trust Rules

Build-Trust

Customers are not forgiving. One mistake and you can ruin the trust and relationship which you so profoundly shared. No matter how big the product is, if the customer is not satisfied with the changes and services, he will not stick to it. Be very careful while incorporating changes in the product as the customers are quite used to the usual stuff and might find these changes complex and unsatisfactory.

The changes should be marketed well stating the purpose so that the people can know the intentions governing such additions in the brand. Not adding clarity can backlash as the users feel neglected and even cheated because of poor communication. Make sure to be methodical while conveying the changes in the products and services. Even if the change did not turn out as expected, be open with the customers; they will definitely value honesty.

 

10. Transparent In Approach

Be-Transprent-With-Your-Client

If you want the customers to love your business, then you got to be transparent with them. Just like trust and satisfaction, transparency is an important element on which the people base their judgment regarding the brand. You ought to be open and not hide anything so that customers are not afraid to rely and build long-term associations. Feedback should be welcomed as well as conversations so that customers can express themselves freely.

The customers must know the details about shipping and should be able to track orders so as to know the estimated arrival time. Proper descriptions on the product should be conveyed so as to avoid any confusion. Also, a common point of contact can always make communication easy.

 

11.  Stick To Your Word

Customer-Promise

If you make any promise with the customer then you must fulfill them in the first place. It is important to keep to your word so that the customers do not sense fraud in the deal. Do not get so drifted away with the targets that you set unrealistic goals and promise stuff which is difficult to achieve. Be consistent in your efforts so that the customers should set the expectations with the company accordingly. Follow through what has been said.

 

12. Wrong- Not A Chance

Customer-Is-Always-Right

The golden rule – Customer is Always Right is indeed the success formula for all the businesses. Be it customer service or product development, this rule stands. In fact, to validate this motion, a customer service policy should be formed so as to prove the customers that they are right. Ultimately it is their happiness which will lead us to gains. Of course, consistent efforts and personal touch are a must, but making the customers feel valuable will add an edge.

 

13.  The Magic Word- Thank You

Thank-you-customer

Always be kind to the customers and express gratitude so as to offer a chance to the brand over others. Customers always remember positive experiences and then come back for more with the same expectations so as to form a long term association. Make personalized thank you notes for the customers so that they feel special. Default will not be that effective in terms of appreciating the people.

 

14.  Ask To Clarify

Make-things-clear

In order to be clear with the statements, it is always better to ask for clarifications so as to get the meaning right. Rather than assuming the meaning of the comments or the remarks in the wrong direction it is better to ask the meaning of the particular phrase so as to have a proper understanding. Assuming things can have a huge communication gap which should not be the case.

 

15.  Respect Time

Customer-Feedback-Time

Although customers by providing their valuable feedback are solving the purpose that does not mean you have go on boundless. Keep the calls to a limited time frame, let’s say, 15-20 minutes and let customer express them the most and drive the conversation. Let him or her take the lead and steer the discussion.

 

Talk On

Customers can associate well with a brand through meaningful conversations. A two way dialogue always works best as it facilitates the talk by creating an excellent discussion. Building a rapport is important so use open ended questions which has a good scope to answer and allows the customer to express his or her opinion freely.

Listen to assimilate more. Interviews are a good way to analyze the behavior and traits which in turn helps to plot the customers along a spectrum line. So, let the talks flow and discover different personas!

At Think 360, we help you connect better with your customers. Valuable insights narrating the customers’ needs and wants are put into action to generate best results. Understanding the perspective matters the most and that is what we do exactly through our expertise to help you take the shift to the customers’ mind and bridge the gap. This open communication will aid you to take decisions and make improvements that are required and will certainly make the business soar.  Yes, reaching out couldn’t have been easy! Let us do the word game.

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Prince Pal

UX/UI Strategist & Usability Tester at Think360 Studio
For 12+ years I have designed, developed and marketed websites / apps startups in New York, California, Florida and in India. Always focused on great User Interface is key.

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