Customers....we love 'em right? We're in business to deal with customers and clients (no customers = no business) but sometimes it can be frustrating figuring out exactly what they want. And just when we think we have our customers nailed down...they still don't buy! What's the deal?
Without sounding too harsh, ask a customer about pricing, competition, satisfaction and what they tell you...is probably not true. Why? As humans, we don't like confrontation and your customer is no different. Put someone on the spot and they are likely to give you the answer you want to hear. Most customers don't want to admit that your product is too expensive or that they like your competitor better or that your specials are on the products they don't need. They won't say a word but they also won't buy or renew or upgrade. So what do we do?
• Solution: Coach Your Staff (and Yourself) to Ask & LISTEN
We all know that when someone asks you, "how are you doing today?" - it's usually not an invitation to spill the beans on all of your problems. If you want to get real customer feedback, you need to ask the right questions - questions that require more than one word answers and invite honesty.
- Have you tried this product before? Is there anything you would suggest to improve it?
- We've had some issues come up regarding [insert product or service] - what has your experience been? Any suggestions?
- I've heard that other companies offer [different product, service or guarantee] - does that kind of option influence your choice to buy?
- What is your #1 frustration with the [insert your industry]?
• Why it Works: Quantity = Trends = The Truth!
The more people you talk to, the more you're likely to notice a pattern. This truthful feedback can be used to increase your sales and conversion. Customers might not always be "right" but if you take the time to listen - they do have the "answers" you need.