Everyone knows that growing your business is essential to the success of your business. That said, there is no substitute for customer interaction for numerous reasons, not the least of which is because it’s your opportunity to see how your product or your service is performing in your local market. Your business is there to serve your customers, and you should use every available opportunity to build relationships, and stay in touch with your customer base. Your relationships with customers and with employees are your source for feedback, and without it, you will have a difficult time understanding where your business could be stronger.
It’s equally important, though, to make sure that you’re not focusing solely on what’s wrong with your business, and not just focusing on areas for improvement - customers and employees will be more than happy to share instances that they’re satisfied, too. Building good relationships with customers (and employees) isn’t just a good habit, but the key to your company’s longevity, and growth.
It Starts with Working Relationships
This may seem obvious, but before you can perfect your customer relations, it’s important to build relationships with your customers. Of course, you have to actually have customers to start building those relationships, but from the first customer through the 500,000th, be conscientious of your customer’s reactions where your product is concerned. The closer you can get to your customers, the better. Some companies take the extra step of observing their clients while the clients are using the product, seeing the step-by-step where client issues arise as well as what seems to work for most, or for everyone. Actively seeking feedback from your clients and customers is one of the many ways that you can make your dreams of business growth and expansion more tangible. Actively seeking feedback is also the first step to building the types of client relationships that are long-lasting and grow more profitable over the life of your business.
Listening - Top to Bottom, Good or Bad - Saves Time and Money
The importance of fostering a listening culture can’t be overstated. For business leaders, it’s important to listen to customers, and also to employees. Teaching employees the importance of actively listening to client feedback is the second step to long-term, productive business. As a business leader, as mentioned before, you should always be conscious of employee feedback as well as customer feedback. Creating this environment means that employees are more likely to come to you with customer feedback, and may offer their own take on solutions for the very customers that you want to keep close. This sort of creativity from the bottom up is the type that makes a strong business with a satisfied customer base, and gives any leader the chance to implement new strategies based on the market, for sure, but also on what people are saying about your own business.
It’s Good to be Positive
Under a pile of data and suggestions for improvement, employee morale can sag, and you may be tempted to implement every suggested change by the most frustrated, consistent consumers. The inclination to listen to customers is always good, but don’t forget to emphasize and uplift any positive feedback that you, your product, or your employees receive. Not only does this do wonders for the health of your organization, but it’s also good for the public perception of your company, and gives you a solid feel for the areas that you should continue to develop according to your vision. If you have customers that love the size of one of your products (whether this is measured in height, weight, or pixels), keep it that way! You might be looking at your eventual best-seller, bringing revenue for the growth of your business.
Feedback is King
You won’t know how your product will perform until it hits the market, but listening to others in your industry with complementary or similar products is always an essential move to make and a good investment in the success of your business. Staying close to the feedback, positive and negative, that you and your employees receive is the only way that you’ll know how to best serve your target customer base. Happy employees will serve happy customers, so your business has every opportunity to succeed with a confident, knowledgeable staff and a satisfied customer base that feels heard.