Tag: customer experience

How Much of My Time Is Needed If I Hire a Fractional Chief Operation Officer?

How Much of My Time Is Needed If I Hire a Fractional Chief Operation Officer?

The most significant stress point for small businesses is TIME. Can my current business operate without me needing to be there every minute of the day? Can I take a two-week vacation? Can my employee take responsibility for the workplace?

If you can’t answer these questions, how long will it take to diagnose and fix the problems that keep you from living the life you want?

Usually, this challenge drives the typical small to mid-sized business to look for help because they don’t have the time or experience in-house to re-build, repair, or build the systems required for sustainable achievement. Using an Outsourced or Fractional COO is an excellent fit in these circumstances.

Once the top executive understands the workings of the IAS model, the question I often gets is, “How much of my time is needed if I hire you?”.

How Often Do We Meet?

Based on the scope of our involvement, we are on the ground in your business 1-6 hours per week. Working with you, your team members, contractors, etc., to identify, educate, and improve the ability of your business to operate without dependence on any individual.

This minimal time commitment results from our experience building operational efficiency in non-traditional businesses and knowing how to leverage the client’s domain knowledge to guide our efforts.

Early in the relationship, I invite my client champions to invest additional time by attending staff meetings we lead, participating in discovery sessions we facilitate, etc. I’ve found this extra involvement up front helps us form a productive working relationship and allows the client to get more comfortable with the new concepts.

Throughout this journey, the client sponsor and us stay in lockstep by focusing on high-level activities during our routine check-in meetings, such as:

  • Individual support plans for employees
  • Maintaining alignment
  • Reviewing the work products we produce and refining them as needed before roll-out.
  • Partnering on culture transition objectives.
  • Checking in on milestone progress and establishing the next set of goals.

What Do You Take Ownership of?

Most often, there are six phases during our involvement:

  • Discovery & Assessment
  • Design & Implement
  • Operationalize with Adoption
  • Evaluation
  • Adjust improve (introduce continuous improvement)
  • Continuous growth

After completing the Discovery & Assessment phase, we develop a plan to serve as our guide. We oversee the steps and actions necessary to create the change you brought us in for. With this plan defined, we’ll take full ownership of designing the agreed-upon work products and implementing them with designated members of your team.

We involve your employees during the design process to glean insights from their subject matter knowledge while also gaining their buy-in before new solutions are implemented.

During this heavy lifting phase, you remain at a high level yet aware of the changes by gaining updates during our routine meetings.

We focus on the key organizational competencies that most small to mid-sized businesses struggle with Strategy, Performance Management, Process Documentation & Improvement, Culture Alignment, Ownership, Trust, Communication, etc.

We work with your team to implement, evaluate, adjust and improve organizational behavior to create sustainable improvements.

How Do We Work Together?

While we’re in the trenches with your employees throughout the six phases described, acting on your behalf to ensure the proper changes are made and adopted. This is most effective when we develop a strong bond of trust, honor one another’s authority areas, and are committed to seeing changes through.

We guarantee that we can fix 1 of your top 5 problems in the first 90-days or less.

We have seen owners panic when the company isn’t completely fixed within 90-days. They grow impatient and feel drawn to undo the work. To avoid ending up at square one, leaving the new processes and systems in place is critical to gaining the desired outcomes.

The Best Outcome: Trusting Your Business to Succeed without you

We enter many small to mid-sized businesses every year. We’ve found that most business owners struggling to reach their goals are the same ones who are personally overseeing/involving themselves in all their departments.

Usually, that means late nights doing someone else job, making excuses for others, stressing out about sales, and trying to figure out what went wrong. Unfortunately, this often leads to a lack of focus, crunched windows of time, and a never-ending project load.

Imagine the time you’ll immediately get back by hiring an Outsourced or Fractional COO Leader! Not to mention how it will feel to be able to take time for yourself.

This freedom allows the owner or top executive to work “on” the business, creating a greater sense of impact and personal fulfillment.

You can actually take a vacation and not spend the entire time fretting about an order not being fulfilled or a project not being completed. No more sleepless nights filled with stress. You can enjoy time away knowing your business is going in the right direction to achieve the growth you’ve always dreamed of.

By partnering with a Fractional Chief Operations Officer, you are gaining a partner with the skills to create immediate impact while only investing a fraction of your time.

If you’d like to discuss the improvement you’re looking for in your business, contact me through these methods: (412) 397-7967 or doogie@ideasactionsuccess.com or book a slot on my calendar.

I also invite you to follow me on LinkedIn to gain exposure to future article posts that will offer more valuable insights.

5 ways to ask your clients about their problems (unintrusively)!

5 ways to ask your clients about their problems (unintrusively)!

Every business wants extended engagement or to sell their clients additional products and services. There are many fancy strategies to increase the initial sale like cross-selling, upselling, and subscription services; you get the point. 

 

However, if you really want to keep a client, you don’t need to sell them extra bells and whistles. Instead, what you need to do is solve their problems.

 

 In this article, we will discuss 5 strategies (opportunities) to discover additional problems and bring additional value to your people without making your people feel uncomfortable.

 

Problem Identifying techniques

 

Listen for the keywords.

When going through your prospecting, sales, or delivery of the experience, pay attention to what and how things are said. For instance, when people use words such as ” I think, ” I would like, ” it would be nice too. This is because they have opened the door for a question. So let’s explore this example:

 

Client “I think I rank well on google.” If you’re a marketer, the next question should be, how do you know? This creates an opportunity to engage in discovering how much they know and where their education gap is. Thus creating a chance to sell an additional solution.

 

In conclusion, study what language people use to understand when they have an unknown or none defined problem.

 

Magic Wand Sale’s Question

Now many consultants have some form of magic wand question. It could be if I had a magic wand that could fix any problem in your business; what would it fix? Or it can look like this, if we were celebrating a year from now, what would have happened in your business?

 

Getting your people to chat about what they want to see changed is key. They will describe something with more detail than my staff to their job or 5 million in revenue. Instead, they start describing a scenario where their employees know what to do, how to do it, ask fewer questions, and solve more problems. Now those are all tactical elements that be solved. 

 

The lesson to learn here is to get to the details and push the person to share how they think and feel.

 

Share your observations

This is my favorite way to learn more about a person because it takes a lot of finesse. In the first two, you were simply asking questions and listening for what and how they responded. However, here we’re going to share our responses.

 

I am going to share my simple steps on how to share an observation without offending others.

  1. Ask for permission “may I share an observation.”
  2. Shit sandwich, share something good, the observed problem, and the hope. 
  3. Shut up, let them speak; the key is to wait for them to agree
  4. Offer a solution
  5. Add it to the contract

 

I know this was highly simplified, but when done right, you can bring up the many additional problems you want to work on and solve with your client. Practice the steps above and see how things begin to change. 

 

Indirect Survey 

Many businesses use satisfaction surveys; however, very few genuinely use them well. We tend to only survey at the end of the experience, depending on what may be correct, but if you provide the ongoing or long-term service, it is best to have multiple engagement points. My cadence is 6 weeks in, 3-month mark, and then every 3-4 months after that. Once you have your sequence, it is time to discuss the questions.

 

When, how, and what you ask are the superpowers of an excellent survey. So many of us will use questions to understand how we did but rarely do we add questions about unmet needs. In this article, we’re talking about discovering additional problems; if you want help creating a kick-ass survey, feel free to reach out.

 

Here are a few questions to add to your next survey to get to their problems:

  • Was there anything that you expected but didn’t receive?
  • Please finish the statement; it would be nice if (insert company) did …? 
  • If (insert company) had a magic want that could solve your biggest problem, what would it be

 

Those are just a few of the ones I through into my survey, but the point when you craft these questions is to think about what would be helpful to hear. Think about adding this to your next survey, and don’t forget to follow up. 

 

Qualitative research

It is essential to discover precisely what your customers want. Conducting a qualitative market study includes mapping customer journeys and evaluating data regarding customer pain points. Some vital steps for conducting research are:

  • Map out your customer journeys gives businesses valuable insights and understanding regarding common customer pain points.
  • Create customer personas to focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development per customer needs, and align all work across your business.
  • Holding focus groups with internal and external customers
  • Using survey data

 

You can do this while you’re currently engaged with a client, or you can do it before engaging. Information and education are the most important pieces when solving a problem. The more you have, the better equipped you will be to help your customers. 

 

The superpower of qualitative research is it provides you with a tool to discuss issues you have observed but have felt uncomfortable bringing up because of the level of emotional attachment. It allows you to turn those issues into objects, thus depersonalizing them. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this quick blog about my top 5 ways to ask your client about their problems. I look forward to connecting if you need additional help or want to discuss anything in this blog. 

 

Remember, the best time to change was yesterday, so you better start today.

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

As I am sitting here at my favorite coffee shop. I enjoy the quiet, but I can’t help but notice when people use the restroom because they never know how to get in. 

People will stand there giggling the handle, waiting patiently, or knocking. Since I am a nice guy, I tell them, “you need to get a key from the counter.” I am usually sitting there getting work done; this process can be disturbing. I ask myself every time, why don’t they just put up a sign? 

Adding a sign that says, “Please get the bathroom key from the front counter,” could elevate this minor problem. My point is that signage is your passive communication tool for getting your clients/customers to do the things you want. 

Think about your sign on the door; it is designed to catch a person’s eye to entice them to walk in. The menu on the wall is to explain what options are available. Every single sign is about creating an ideal behavior. With all this in mind, here are a few tips on making and using effective signage in your business.

 

Tip 1: Design Your Sign to Convey A Clear Direction

 

A good sign tells a person where, when, and how to do a specific behavior. Therefore, it is essential to think of your signs as a sequence of physical actions—a step-by-step experience. You need to consider the person who will follow these directions, who they are, and what problem they have? 

 

Tip 2: Does Your Sign Tell Your Story 

What is your business identity? Why do you exist? What problems do you solve? A great sign can convey these messages. For example, take Royal Caribian Cruises. A few years ago, they rolled out their Live, Love, Cruise Campaign. It was to transition their brand from cruise vacation into a lifestyle.

 

If you walk around their ships, they have artwork, decals, and signage just to share and reinforce their beliefs. So when you think about your own location, consider what beliefs will support your companies identity.

Tip 3: Know Your Desired Customer Behaviour

 

Make sure you take the time to map out the action that is important to a successful customer experience. This may take the form of walking through your experience as your customer or creating a process map. It doesn’t matter but make sure you get into the head of your customers. 

 

Tip 4: Talk with a professional about all the above elements

 

Take your time to find a company that will understand your brand and the experience you want to create. Then, they will add their expertise to design signage that does all your desired outcomes and more.

A quick suggestion is to talk with my friends at Spark Signs and Graphics; they get that a sign is more than a sign. It is a visual story ready to be told. Here is what owner Alex Maurer has to say 

 

“When working with clients, we set out to understand their business and what challenges they are trying to solve. As an example, effective directional signage within a building – whether it is a corporate environment or a church – can make a visitors’ experience so much more positive when they get from point A to point B in an efficient and easy way.”

 

As you seek to create the best experience for your customers and yourself, make sure to consider these 4 tips. If you want additional help creating a business that thrives and generate the lifestyle you deserve, consider taking a test drive and see what our profit acceleration can do for your business.

 

Remember, the best time to change was yesterday, so you better start changing today.

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

Why is signage important to your customer experience?

As I am sitting here at my favorite coffee shop. I enjoy the quiet, but I can’t help but notice when people use the restroom because they never know how to get in. 

People will stand there giggling the handle, waiting patiently, or knocking. Since I am a nice guy, I tell them, “you need to get a key from the counter.” I am usually sitting there getting work done; this process can be disturbing. I ask myself every time, why don’t they just put up a sign? 

Adding a sign that says, “Please get the bathroom key from the front counter,” could elevate this minor problem. My point is that signage is your passive communication tool for getting your clients/customers to do the things you want. 

Think about your sign on the door; it is designed to catch a person’s eye to entice them to walk in. The menu on the wall is to explain what options are available. Every single sign is about creating an ideal behavior. With all this in mind, here are a few tips on making and using effective signage in your business.

 

Tip 1: Design Your Sign to Convey A Clear Direction

 

A good sign tells a person where, when, and how to do a specific behavior. Therefore, it is essential to think of your signs as a sequence of physical actions—a step-by-step experience. You need to consider the person who will follow these directions, who they are, and what problem they have? 

 

Tip 2: Does Your Sign Tell Your Story 

 

What is your business identity? Why do you exist? What problems do you solve? A great sign can convey these messages. For example, take Royal Caribian Cruises. A few years ago, they rolled out their Live, Love, Cruise Campaign. It was to transition their brand from cruise vacation into a lifestyle.

 

If you walk around their ships, they have artwork, decals, and signage just to share and reinforce their beliefs. So when you think about your own location, consider what beliefs will support your companies identity.

Tip 3: Know Your Desired Customer Behaviour

 

Make sure you take the time to map out the action that is important to a successful customer experience. This may take the form of walking through your experience as your customer or creating a process map. It doesn’t matter but make sure you get into the head of your customers. 

 

Tip 4: Talk with a professional about all the above elements

 

Take your time to find a company that will understand your brand and the experience you want to create. Then, they will add their expertise to design signage that does all your desired outcomes and more.

 

A quick suggestion is to talk with my friends at Spark Signs and Graphics; they get that a sign is more than a sign. It is a visual story ready to be told. Here is what owner Alex Maurer has to say 

 

“When working with clients, we set out to understand their business and what challenges they are trying to solve. As an example, effective directional signage within a building – whether it is a corporate environment or a church – can make a visitors’ experience so much more positive when they get from point A to point B in an efficient and easy way.”

 

As you seek to create the best experience for your customers and yourself, make sure to consider these 4 tips. If you want additional help creating a business that thrives and generate the lifestyle you deserve, consider taking a test drive and see what our profit acceleration can do for your business.

 

Remember, the best time to change was yesterday, so you better start changing today.

Science of the Memes

Science of the Memes

 

Today I’d like to discuss the science of memes and how the spreading of ideas is engrained in our human society.

Definition

An element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.

  • a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by internet users

 

Memes

In our modern era, memes have become a cornerstone of our social media-filled lives. However, we never take the time to investigate why they spread so fast and how that affects consumerism. 

You can use this same information to create a lasting positive impression about your company, products, and services. People are more likely to try a new product or service when they feel protected and reassured by the masses. 

It’s been determined that spreading ideas is essential to the survival of a society. There are five main situations where this occurs. They are:

  1. Crisis
  2. Mission
  3. Problem
  4. Danger
  5. Opportunity

Think of Evangelism. This movement is a prime example of people not only spreading the word but also convincing people to jump on board and start spreading the word themselves. How did this movement do this?

They effectively incorporated a few key things that always catch people’s eye:

  • The use of media: especially news. They associate their movement with polarizing events and caustic leaders.
  • The power of selflessness, a massive piece of this movement, is that through association, you live a life of helping others and altruism.
  • The power of exclusivity; it takes becoming a member to learn all the secrets. It comes in the form of in speak, opportunity, and ultimately community connections.

These are just a few lessons we can learn from this powerful movement if you think about your business marketing strategy. What elements do you have?

It takes these elements and more to go viral, which we will discuss in the next section.

Let’s Go Viral

While traditional marketing can be used to your advantage, the reality is viral and online marketing is the king of the castle. You can spread the word online like the plague if you know what to do. Here are some simple steps to do this:

  • Find an interesting idea
  • Make it easy for people to experience or try
  • Spread the idea while people who are in close contact with others
  • Take advantage of existing communication methods
  • Develop the way of testing your product in such a way that it automatically draws more participants

Viral marketing is the new gorilla marketing; it creates channels to allow you to provide value to a lot of people. Thus giving them the best chance to advocate for your product or service. A few great places to try to create a viral marketing campaign are:

  • Tik Tok
  • YouTube 
  • Facebook 
  • Instagram 
  • E-Mail marketing

 

There are six things everyone should be doing to benefit from word of mouth on the Internet:

  • Put WOM components on your website.
  • Assign people to monitor your viral marketing.
  • Place testimonials in different places on your website to walk a customer through the purchasing cycle.
  • Set up an email marketing campaign.
  • Stay up to date on what products and services the experts in your industry are recommending.
  • Use your website & media to demonstrate the great ways people are using or finding success with your products and services.

This wraps up our lesson on how to apply the power of memes to your marketing. If you need help creating your own plan and discovering your business plan, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help.

Mom’s make the best customer service, experts

Mom’s make the best customer service, experts

The power of moms

My mother has taught me a lot over the years, but two key lessons that pertain to customer service are consistency and the Rule of 1%. In the last post, I shared my experience with STX and the lack of consistency and systems within their customer service experience. My mother’s lessons will ensure you do not make the same mistakes.

Your customer experience must be predictable and measured. You need to leave your clients, vendors, customers, and staff; feeling heard and cared for. The key to any customer experience is what do you want them to experience. Experience is a set of events and feelings. As you go about creating your customer service systems, keep this in mind. 

Be as my mother; she wanted to do what is best for me but rarely gave into everything I wanted. She listened to what I had to say even when I was wrong, acknowledged my feelings, and redirects me to the path of least resistance. She treated me the same every time, and I found comfort in knowing that. Everyone once in a while, she surprised me with something I never expected.

If you want to take your satisfied customers to Raving Fan status, you have to go above and beyond the average customer service experience. The key to any great customer service experience is consistency. 

There are three ways to develop consistency:

Limiting customer service options and. 

It is easy to give customers what they want. However, this can cause us to drift from our vision of how we want our customers to feel. Instead, stay true to your vision and offer one or two solid customer service techniques that will set you apart from the competition. 

Make sure the techniques you chose do not feel like a burden. To be honest, your goals are to address the customers feeling and before their problems. 

Start by fine-tuning your current systems before you can add anything to the mix. 

  • Think about how I want them to feel, and am I currently getting them to feel that way. 
  • What action am my staff or I taking to get them to feel that way?

There’s nothing worse than launching a new program when you haven’t even worked out the kinks of an old system. 

Put solid systems into place.

Once you know what you’re going to offer, you need to have a system in place to execute it flawlessly every time. This system needs to consist of the right people in the right roles and responsibilities and technology that guarantees a positive experience every time. Emphasis needs to be placed on the results, which ultimately is the satisfaction of the customer.

To get the best results to think about how you empower your staff to make decisions. If they have to go through a supervisor or you before they can approve a refund or replacement, what is the point? Your system needs to have the least number of steps possiable. Remember, your customer is already in a higher state of agitation, and your first job is to lower the feeling.

Good coaching is the key.

When creating excellent training, you need to remember it is not about the outcomes. It is about teaching your staff how to shift the emotional state of customers to create an optimal resolution for both them and the company. It is about the tools they have at their disposal and how information needs to be shifted through your organization. 

The final piece to consider is your process for continually enhancing your staff skills. Your goal is to train them to be confident that they are the empowered expert who can solve your client’s issues.

Small steps lead to great results.

You may be looking at what currently doing and saying, “shit, I have a lot of work to do.” That is okay let the Rule of 1% be your guide to implementing the change in your business.

The Rule of 1% is simply defined as adding to your customer service one percent at a time. Before you can do this, you must have your consistency perfected, or it will never work. This one percent may seem small, but if you approach the vision for your company with baby steps, you will find a massive increase over a solid chunk of time. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.

Avoid doing too much at once, or you’ll set yourself up for failure. Think of the confidence you and your employees will have when you improve one percent each week. By the end of a year, you’ll have improved more than 50%!

While rules and standards are necessary for growth, always be flexible with your best customers. Most retailers only allow a set number of items into a dressing room to reduce the risk of shoplifting, but it generally restricts the large percentage of people who are not stealing from you. Flexibility is the key to what you deliver to your customers, and consistency is the key to how you provide it.

The bottom line is customers rely on you to deliver what you promise. If you spend too much on bulky advertising that promises more than you can deliver, even your best intentions will unravel quickly, and you will fail.

Focus on your vision and baby steps to turn your satisfied customers into Raving Fans.

I hope you’ve learned a lot about good customer service and how it’s essential to your overall success. If you need help with any of the steps we’ve gone through over the last four lessons, please feel free to connect.

In upcoming posts, we’re going to explore strategies of bagging the big clients and keeping them.

I interrupt our regularly scheduled blog for an important customer service announcement.

I interrupt our regularly scheduled blog for an important customer service announcement.

the image is call attention the fact that this not my typical blog but sharing a personal experience

In the last post, we talked about figuring out what your customers want out of a positive buying experience. Today I was going to talk about the concept of Deliver +1 and how this concept can take your customer service to the next level. Instead, I need to share a recent experience as an example of what not to do in your customer service system. 

Over three weeks ago, STX hockey ran a BOGO special. Anyone who knows me knows I love STX equipment. As you can imagine, I was excited. It was the chance for me to pick up their top-of-the-line sticks for $100 or less, which, if you are a hockey player, it’s a steal.

However, when my order arrived, it only had two of the four sticks I had ordered; the box was ripped open. I was shocked. I immediately went online to look up the customer service number. I called no answer; upon listening to the customer service message, it stated that they do not have customer service hours on the weekends and suggest sending an email. 

I left a voicemail and then followed up with an email to highlight my issues and my desire to speak with someone. I expected them to get back to me on Monday. 

Monday afternoon rolls around, and no replay. So I decided to call again, no answer. I leave another voicemail and email. Two days later, I called again. This time added how they could resolve the issue to my satisfaction. (see email below)

Apr 16, 2021, 13:54 EDT
Hello,

I am following up because I have now left three voice messages and have not heard anything from you. I was a major supporter of the STX, but I am now becoming extremely frustrated that you have been unable to get back to me about the issue with my stick order within a week.

I would like to either receive the other two sticks that I ordered with your BOGO deal or a refund for the product I didn't receive.

Please call me at (edited to remove personal information)

I waited another two days and no response. I left another voicemail and an email. At this point, I have created three support tickets and was starting to get frustrated. I am a massive fan of the brand and love their equipment, but the lack of support was ridiculous. 

Once again, the weekend  was approaching, so I knew I could not get a hold of anyone. So I decided to try the hail marry of getting shit done before I just cut my losses and move on, never to buy from them again.

I looked up the CEO, email, and phone number using a prospecting tool, shout out to Seamless AI. I sent a final email highlighting my displeasure and how I would like to see it resolved.

Apr 22, 2021, 9:34 EDT
Hello Kenneth,

I am reaching out as a concerned customer and business owner myself. I have been trying to reach someone at STX customer service for over two weeks. I have left 4 voice mails and sent 3 emails and have not heard back from them.

I had an issue with your recent BOGO sale, in which I only received two of the four sticks I should have received as much as I am pissed that I did not receive what I ordered. I am more concerned about my favorite hockey brand.

I have truly enjoyed using your products, but I am now considering switching because of the lack of customer care. It is ridiculous that not one person could reply to a voice mail or email in two weeks. I hope that you, as the owner, have taken the time to read this email and will hopefully respond to me.

My phone number is (edited to remove personal information)

My support ticket (26556)

Later that afternoon, I got my first response. Now it took me over two weeks of messaging and calling to get a response. You would think they would have taken the time to read my emails and listen to my voice mails, where I spell out my problem.

No, the first thing is two different customer support agents contacted me—each one asking for my order number, which I had shared with them twice in earlier emails.

After giving them the information, they credited my account and have sent me the two missing sticks, which seems like a desired result. I got everything I wanted and then some; however, they still made several significant mistakes. These were the ones that bothered me the most.

  1. Their customer service agents were called agents instead of having names, which made the limited interaction feel impersonal. To be honest, this was a characteristic of the entire experience.
  2. They were extraordinarily unorganized and failed to communicate how they resolved my problem. Suddenly, I got an email from my credit card company that I had received credit and a similar message from UPS that a package was on the way. 
  3. Lastly, no apology. I am glad they resolved the issue, but seriously they took no ownership and left the experience feeling cold. 

As you continue to read this series on customer service, I hope you take my experience to heart while developing your customer service systems. Next week I will introduce the concept of Delivery +1 and the 1% rule.

In the meantime, if you need help building a holistic customer experience that turns your clients into raving fans. Then don’t hesitate to contact me.

Secrets Secrets they Can Be Fun… Let me tell you one.

Secrets Secrets they Can Be Fun… Let me tell you one.

Top secrets customer service information

In the last post, we talked about the first secret to building a solid customer service plan and how to decide what your vision is. 

Today we’ll talk about the second secret in taking your satisfied customers to raving fans. You must know what your customers want. Know who your customers are, and you will know better how to serve them. Having a defined ideal client is really important here. An upper-class woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a working-class man in his 50’s.

When considering what your customer wants, there are four main areas to focus in:

  • Listen to your client
  • Ask Your Customers Sincerely
  • Offer More than Just a Product/Service
  • Know When to thank them for their feedback 

These are all important when deciding what your customers want out of their experience. 

Listen to Your Client

You need to listen to both what they say and what they don’t say. Clients may say they want one thing and mean something else. For example, if your customers are begging for lower prices, you may find their real priority is quick delivery. Your clients fall into four categories.

First, you have the raving fan; they’re the person who will self-identify with your brand. Take, for example, the hipster that will say I will only use apple products. Most of the time, they love what you do and provide you with positive feedback. This is your 20% sweet spot. However, if you’re looking to grow or pivot, you have to listen to what they say and prod them for negative feedback.

Second, you have the passive client; you need to listen to customers who only reply with “fine.” These customers are so used to bad customer service they only give a monotone response. Think of the client that leaves the 3-star review and writes it was good—clearly, no a lot to go on here. 

Third, you have the silent client. Listen to your “silent” customers. These customers don’t bother to complain because the service is so bad they’ve just given up and don’t feel like their voice matters. They feel unwanted, and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone.

Lastly, you have the detracter or “Karen.” These are your clients who had such a negative experience that will actively try to cause harm to your business. This can be in the form of a poor review or youtube rant. It is essential to make sure that you have a plan in place to handle these people. One suggestion is to create a Non-ideal client profile; this will allow you to figure out who that person is before they even have a chance to buy from you.

Ask Your Customers Sincerely

If you aren’t sincere when you ask their opinion, they will see right through you. It is essential to understand why you are asking them for their feedback. Are you truly prepared to take feedback and make changes? If not, don’t ask. Client feedback is not an opportunity to pander to them in an attempt to create some false value. This is your chance to reengage them and keep them as loyal customers.

You need to ask them sincere questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Make them feel like you really care, and you should! 

Extra tip: If you have a plan of how their feedback is being used, share it with them during your review process.

Offer More than Just a Product/Service

Your customer service process does not just start after you have completed the sale. Make sure you are thinking holistically about your client’s experience. It starts from the first contact and continues indefinitely.

Your customers are looking for much more than a simple product or service; they are looking for an experience that makes them feel good. They gauge every step of the process with a value. When you consider this and treat them like people, they will feel like they belong. That is when your product or service becomes a community.

Know When to Ignore Them

First, you must acknowledge that your business is not for everyone and everyone is not your customer. You will sell to people, and people will buy from you that really shouldn’t have. 

It is okay; in reality, you can’t give them everything, and some people you will never make happy. You have to set limits and stick to them. If your vision and company don’t meet the customer’s needs, they will be best suited elsewhere. 

Be direct, tell them this is not working out, and create a process to help them find the right place for them, and then move on to those you can help.

Start Here

  • Who is my customer? 
  • What are my goals for my customer experience?
  • What questions can I ask to make sure I am delivering on that experience?
  • How will I use their answers?

Now that you have learned some quick tips and tricks. If you get stuck, I am happy to answer questions. Email me: doogie@ideasactionssuccess.com