Earnestly thinking aloud, human beings’ existence pivots around science and religion.
With regard to religion, the debate will not stop. In terms of science, a paean of praise goes to psychology as it unearths opportunities for us to understand ourselves and those around us.
Organisations only exist to find customers and to keep them. Besides customers, employees and various stakeholders in it form critical cogs in the success of the organisation. This discussion will be centred around customers, but this is not to imply that organisations should treat feedback from employees or stakeholders with any degree of disdain or lower standing because everyone ought to be listened to.
According to the theory of Maslow hierarchy of needs, a sense of belonging and love greatly motivates human beings though this is not at the top of the pyramid . A sense of belonging or feeling loved(warmness of a brand ) can only be achieved through creation of better customer experiences, compassion, respect and empathy. These have to take precedence over products and services, thus rendering listening to customers a requisite.
Because this is synonymous with human relationships, for a business partnership to work, there ought to be an easy flow of communication between the business and the customer. Getting feedback and using that feedback to build products and services or re-work processes and anything that affects the customer journey enables acquisition of new customers and retains existing clientele.
So what exactly do I mean by listening ? Derivation of the voice of the customer is through many agents structured or unstructured, formal or informal or just sterling perceptions. Remember that it is still feedback. This feedback can come from various sources such as employees who interact with customers, customer feedback, customer satisfaction surveys, social media, customer data analytics or even product uptake and usage.
As previously mentioned, organisations or businesses do not exist to make profit but rather to acquire and retain customers. Profit can only be harnessed through sound acquisition and retention strategies and tactics and deeming it critical to take customer feedback seriously .
Obtaining this feedback should not be a big bang affair or require a multiple-digit a budget. All customer touch points are key in gathering this feedback. More importantly, it should not be just a tick-box exercise. Feedback should be analysed comprehensively with clear actions, commitments and timelines. Organisations that have made serious headway make use of systems that give real time feedback from the customer.
Customers can be asked to share their experiences, good or bad, before the customer even leaves the shop and resolution is sought immediately. This is important because customers’ concerns can be removed almost instantly while the positive things are encouraged to boost satisfaction levels and experiences.
Now let us imagine organisations do not collect the feedback or at least listen. Getting and keeping customers would be an absolute disaster. Customers would feel unappreciated or not loved. They would not feel any sense of belonging to that brand and will surely not stick around.
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LinkedIn: Gomolemo Kololo Manake