Archive for the 'Customer Needs' Category

Front line staff know what customers want. If your front line staff are turning away customers by the hundreds or thousands because you don’t stock certain ‘in demand’ items at Christmas, you will not only lose sales but also good will and loyalty.

7 Techniques to Understand Your Customers

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

A prior blog post called Customer Satisfaction Tip: Understand Your Customer reviewed why it was important to understand your customer and what it really meant to understand. Three company examples were included, IBM, Cisco and Apple. This post covers seven techniques and best practices to understand your customers, theirs needs, wants, wishes, complaints, concerns, and the terminology they use.

One of the keys to customer satisfaction is to set expectations correctly and then meet those expectations. But customer expectations can be reset by your competition, raising the bar for your product or service offerings. KLM and Malaysia Airlines have added social seating programs, not found on US airlines.

IBM has published a study of over 1700 Chief Marketing Officers titled From Stretched to Strengthened, Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study which highlights the changes the marketplace is going through and the need for businesses to adapt.

I recently finished a book called How to Deal with Difficult Customers: 10 Simple Strategies for Selling to the Stubborn, Obnoxious, and Belligerent
by Dave Anderson. The focus of the book is how to sell to ‘SOB (Stubborn, Obnoxious or Belligerent) Customers but many of his words of wisdom apply to the practice of customer satisfaction. Most customer satisfaction theory revolves around the quality of the product and post sale support. The main point of this book is that customers can become dissatisfied during the selling process and provides techniques on how to prevent the most common problems.

What does a Customer Want?

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post on What (People) Want, where people could be defined as customers, users, neighbors, friends, etc. He describes five simple ideas that motivate and drive most of us. This blog post looks at whether these 5 elements also define what customers want.

Customer Centricity: An IBM Video

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Customer Centricity is a new term to capture the thought that customers are central to everything an organization does, including product development, sales, service, marketing and even through its suppliers and channels. IBM has an excellent video called “How it Works: Smarter Commerce” that covers the concept well. Watch the video and review the key points in this blog post.

A study by IBM® Institute of Business Value of 30,000 US consumers in September and November 2008 revealed that, on average, consumers will drop allegiance to retailers after an average of 3.1 negative experiences. To promote customer satisafaction, eight key areas that affect the customer experiences are covered in this article.

A really key factor in retaining customers and preventing problems is to pay attention to what expectations you, as a business owner, are setting with customers. What promises are you making?

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