One way that businesses can better understand their customers is to create personas that represent the different types of people that interact with the company. Personas should be developed according to research and observation of great customer service experience. A common mistake is to dream up personas based on how the company intends their products to be used or how they envision ideal customers. However, by creating realistic profiles of typical customers, with names and personal descriptions, customer service and product development teams can better tailor their work to the consumers they are actually serving.
Another way that businesses can strengthen relationships with customers is to make a personal connection. It is often said that "people do business with people they know, like, and trust." Businesses can create emotional connections with customers by paying attention to their individual customers and offering help outside the normal scope of the businesses. Small acts of kindness, like sending a hand-addressed birthday card, expressing compassion for customers' problems, and offering toys to children can help to cement strong relationships between the customer and the business.
Get Immediate Feedback
One of the best ways to address customers' needs is to get immediate feedback after an interaction. Some stores now offer a feedback tool that customers can use as they leave the building. Websites can also offer online feedback options at the point of sale. Other methods businesses use to collect feedback include automated emails, links to surveys, and phone calls. Getting immediate feedback helps businesses to understand the customer's response in the context of other conditions or events happening at the same time, and it allows them to adjust quickly to improve the experience for other customers.
Monitor And Respond To Reviews
Finally, businesses can manage customer relationships by monitoring and responding to reviews. It is crucial to respond positively to reviews. When answering a negative review, businesses should first apologize for the problem, even if they don't consider themselves at fault. An apology should be followed up with an explanation of the event and assurance that it will not happen again, along with an effort to compensate the unhappy customer in some way. It's also important to express appreciation for all reviews, both positive and negative.