Weekly Business Wrap-up
|Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert is an award-winning entrepreneur, an attorney, a New York Times best-selling author, a media personality and a highly sought after keynote speaker.|
How to Squeeze the Most Value Out of Customer Requests
You know what I love about radio DJs? I love the live request line.
You know what I’m talking about. You call in and the DJ plays the song you’ve requested and usually says something like, “This one goes out to Shelly in Junction City…”
Shelly would be tuned into the radio broadcast waiting to hear her song and her name called out.
Businesses can take a page out of this radio audience-building strategy:
Business owners know this, but usually they only heed this advice in bad times. They get a terrible reaction from customers or clients about something they’ve done, so they change course and then widely broadcast how they “heard” what people were saying and made changes.
There’s nothing wrong with this. You should always be on top of the complaints your customers are making and address them ASAP. Further, letting your customers know about the changes you’ve made in reaction to their comments is great.
But, don’t merely listen, react, and communicate changes you make when you pick up on critical comments. Be proactive and find positive ways to listen, react, and communicate. Let me toss out some phrases and tactics that can get you started thinking along these lines.
Back by popular demand. When I wrote this, my mind immediately went McDonald’s wildly successful McRib sandwich. This is the angle they use when they promote this sandwich. When you have something that elicits a big response from your customers, use that response to promote it in the future.
You spoke, we heard. Do you and your crew engage your customers to find out what they would like to see from your business in the future? Do you have a way of capturing these comments? You need to have channels to get positive input from your customers and then act on that input. For local businesses, comments might be that customers would like to see a second location in another area that would make things more convenient.
…don’t ignore the personal touch.
The above two suggestions are strategies you can use in your mass communication channels, but don’t ignore the personal touch.
Follow up emails, calls, or social media replies. Few things impress a customer as much as a direct message from a decision maker in your company. But when you engage a customer directly, don’t just use the time as a platform for what you want to say, ask questions and listen to the responses you get. That really personalizes your company and cements the relationship between your company and the customer. It’s the DJ request line all over again!
The point I want you to take away from this, is that acting on customer requests is only half the work. To finish the job successfully, you need to let them know that you’re taking actions prompted by their requests.
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