July 23, 2021

3 ways to listen to your customer (tools and techniques)

Alex Bilney

Customers care about their experiences.

No matter how critical the product or service is, businesses’ reputations are forged in customer relations.

With that in mind, it makes a great deal of sense for organisations to really consider whether they are good listeners.

This doesn’t just apply to frontline workers engaging with customers in person (though this is still essential) but more broadly to interactions across the scope of the business.

Having a constant line of communication between your marketing and customer service teams would be a great first step for organisations looking to better listen to their customer base.

But beyond an organisational shift, how would you go about engaging with your customers?

We’ve compiled a list of ‘3 ways to listen to your customer’ and the tools and techniques that can support this:

1)    Engage with customers where they feel most comfortable

Now, don’t panic, this isn’t an invitation for organisations to simply rock up at their customers’ homes.

By this, we mean it’s worthwhile to think about how customers prefer to communicate – via social media? By phone? Email?

The appropriate channel from which to access your customers will, of course, depend in large part on your customer base.

For instance, a more elderly audience will be far less inclined to jump onto Twitter to discuss their concerns or questions.

Fundamentally, this is all about making customers feel comfortable; like they don’t have to jump through an array of hoops just to feel heard.

This is where integrating customer services with the marketing team can come in handy, utilising the strengths of both departments to ensure that your business’ customer base is identified and respected.

2)    Active customer engagement

Chat bots are one tool that several websites have been taking advantage of.

Navigating a website and finding the exact answer to a question can be a tricky and oftentimes frustrating experience.

This is why thinking about the customer journey is key.

These pop-ups that appear on the sidebar of your computer screen can help not only speed up the process but also address customer questions.

Indeed, according to IBM research, chatbots help speed up response times by answering 80% of customers’ routine questions.

Chatbots can help organisations build better relationships with customers by personalising their website experience and engaging with tailored interactions unique to each visitor.

Robotic helpers aren’t for everyone, however, which is why it’s essential that there is a dedicated team of customer service professionals for those needing that more personal touch.

3)    Dig deep into analytics

A good way to reach your customers, let alone listen to them better, is by considering the data available to you.

Customers interact with organisations’ websites on a daily basis, buying products, browsing the blog, and so on and so forth.

Every single customer (that’s right, every single one of them) can provide critical insights into their behaviour and preferences, which can then allow businesses to better listen to and cater to their audiences.

Tools like Google Analytics can be valuable, as they can show you how long customers spend on a particular page.

While there’s a clear need to put out products and services that genuinely fulfil a need in the market, customers more often than not will remember not only how they were treated but also how they were made to feel. We are all emotional beings at the end of the day!

And it’s not just about how organisations interact with customers in person but about a general approach.

Though this can sound quite intangible, considering the range of tools and techniques available can better ground your engagement efforts.

Sometimes the best way to listen is by making an active change based on the data you have available.

By following these steps, you can make your customers feel truly cared for and keep them coming back for more.