To meet and exceed customer needs time and time again, your business needs quality tools. Customers not only need a quality product or service, but they also need assistance and assurance. This applies before, during, and after the initial purchase. If you can fulfill every one of your customer’s needs, the chances are high that they will become long-term customers or clients.
A Proven Quality Management System (QMS)
More than anything, a business that wants to take things to the next level should be able to deliver a quality, consistent product every time. If you meet your customer needs and knock it out of the park on order #1 but then become a complete let-down on order #2, that customer will view you more harshly than they would if you had merely offered mediocre service to begin with.
Once customer expectations are set, they expect them to be met. You need to meet them to keep your customers happy. That’s where a QMS comes in. The most well-known, well-researched, and easy to use QMS is undoubtedly that developed by ISO: The International Organization for Standard.
The ISO has developed a QMS that ensures that you deliver a quality experience that your customers can rely on if you take the program seriously. Not only that, but it has the potential to get you even more customers, primarily if your business works with other companies as ISO offers certification of businesses that adhere to their QMS. Starting with an easy-to-use ISO 9001 collection of forms may be your best choice, starting out. With this, you can quickly set up and document your processes.
Customer Service (and Relationship) Management
If you’ve taken a look at a QMS (above), you may realize that your business also needs a better CRM or customer service solution. This may even be brought to light when mining feedback (below) for additional insights.
Customer service tools don’t end at a phone and chat support, either. Today, you have to offer support through a variety of channels to compete- some of them will even be self-service. In addition to responding to feedback and answering queries, creating FAQs and even a video guide to how to use your website can be essential tools.
While your QMS takes care of meeting most production and service needs, it can’t be stressed enough that you still need to keep communication open with the customer. Not every single customer will have the same requirements, the same way to use your product, or the same situation when it comes to the kind of instruction they may need.
Allowing for better communication will make sure you know about their needs, then you can meet them through the channels and protocols you have established. Remember, for every 27 customers who have questions or complaints, 26 of them will keep silent. Sure, that might mean no negative feedback, but it also means no repeat business. Set up automatic QA messages. Offer self-service resources keyed to each product. Yes, communication tools overlap with other categories, but they can be used in many ways.
Feedback Management and Collection
In many cases, it takes a strong emotion for a customer to reach out, find a contact form or review outlet, and let the world know how they feel about something. More often than not, if you aren’t already requesting feedback and fowling up with customers, the emotions that lead to those few reviews and feedback sessions will be negative. Unsolicited, customers are 50% more likely to leave a negative review or feedback comment.
In addition to avoiding harmful feedback and attention, making an effort to collect input can give your business valuable insights. What are the things that customers mention most often in reviews? What is your brand getting right? Are there a few things you could improve upon, no matter how small?
A feedback manager can do a few things, and the collection tool you choose will depend on what business you are in. In its most basic form, a feedback manager will send regular, scheduled follow-ups to customers, typically by text or email, and request feedback or offer assistance.
If just this, you should start seeing an improvement in feedback numbers, considering that 70% of consumers are likely to leave a review when asked. It should also be able to sift through feedback on a large scale and look for specific common phrases or allow messages to be searched and tallied manually. Additionally, in today’s world, feedback can come in dozens of different forms, including social media. Using a tool like Mention can help you track all of them.