In an increasingly saturated, competitive commercial world, it’s never been more important to deliver your website’s visitors the best customer experience possible - every step of the way. And there are few better ways to give your customers a five-star experience than to find out, meet and surpass their expectations.
Today, we want to unpick why it’s worth everyone in your team occasionally hearing feedback - both good and bad - from your customers. We’ll also dive into the most effective ways of gathering feedback - and how voice technology can help you take ‘listening to your customers’ to a whole new level.
Why is it important to listen to your customers?
“Listening to customer feedback is increasingly critical to the bottom line.”
We think there’s a very reason good for this.
All successful companies know that listening to your customers is the best way to understand how and what they think. And understanding your customers is the key to good product judgment, which can help you create a product or service that people will genuinely fall in love with.
As much as you think you might know what your customers want, we bet that if you sat down and had a half-hour conversation with a buyer about exactly what they thought of your product, service or website, there’s a lot that would surprise you!
As well as helping you improve your product, listening to your customers can also help you collect valuable stories and testimonials to share. When a customer has a fantastic experience with your brand - and wants to let you know - they’ve just given you a powerful piece of content that you can share across your brand’s website and social channels to drive more sales.
According to BrightLocal, 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while Vendasta recently reported that featuring reviews on your website can produce an 18% uplift in sales on average.
So, either way you look at it, both the negative and the positive feedback you receive from your customers can help your brand grow. The praise you receive from your customers is always encouraging and sometimes shareable, while their criticism is often constructive, illuminating and an opportunity to improve.
As well as being hugely beneficial for your own business’ growth, asking your customers for their thoughts and feedback also benefits your customers by making them feel valued, important and heard. Keeping your audience involved with your brand’s decisions can help build a strong sense of community, as well as making sure the end result can be enjoyed by everyone.
As a result, your customers will feel happier about doing business with you and stay loyal to your brand for longer. This is important for your business’ growth, as one report by Bain & Company stated that just a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% increase in profit.
It’s also worth noting that it’s not just important to understand what your customers want at the beginning of your brand’s journey. People’s opinions, preferences and user experiences will change as your brand evolves, so it’s important to make sure you’re always up to date with the thoughts of the people who matter most.
How do you find out what your customers are thinking?
Traditionally, some of the most popular way to find out what your customers like - and don't like - have been to collect product reviews, conduct surveys, interview customers and A/B test.
These are all great ways to collect different sets of data about what your customers are loving - and what they could live without.
As we touched on earlier, product reviews can leave you with powerful marketing content, while conducting surveys and A/B testing gives you exact comparable data that you can rely on.
Interviewing customers is a fantastic way to hear what your customers’ think in their own words, while asking them for their opinions at the end of a phone conversation can also help you gauge exactly where you're getting it right - and wrong.
However, there are some drawbacks to all of these traditional methods of collecting customer feedback.
A/B testing can be expensive, trying to coordinate times where both parties are free for a phone call or video interview can be time-consuming, and with written reviews and surveys, so much emotion and extra information can get left out of the equation.
At Telbee, we believe that when it comes to listening to what your customers have to say, voice messaging is the most efficient, cost-effective and meaningful way to start the conversation.
Let’s break down the unique insights that voice messaging can provide your brand with compared to more traditional ways of listening to customers.
Using voice tech to better understand your customers
There are several key benefits to having your customers tell you - rather than write to you - about their experience using your product.
If you can’t be right next to your customers watching them use your product or service, then making use of voice tech is the next best thing. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
#1 Emotion is key
At the end of the day, a customer simply letting you know about their preferences and dislikes isn’t quite enough.
People want to use products and services they’re genuinely happy and excited about - and nothing will give away genuine excitement more than hearing someone tell you what matters to them in their own voice.
#2 Hear the unfiltered truth
As we just touched upon, speaking reveals far more emotion than typing. As it’s our most natural way of communicating with each other - and has been for thousands of years - there’s a raw, honest element to speaking that communicates far more than the written word ever could.
Whereas a customer may double check an email or text, the words which flow out of their mouth in a spoken review or voice message will be much more unfiltered and spontaneous, allowing you to fully understand what’s really on their mind.
#3 Learn the unexpected
Often, when you run A/B tests or start researching a particular aspect of a product or service, you’ll find the exact answer you were looking for - and that’s that. Job done!
But what if there are actually some other important things you’re massively overlooking - but haven’t thought to test?
When you give your customers the option to reach out to you using their own voices, you’ll often find out much more than you initially expected to. You might be a clothes store investigating which colours your target audience are most drawn to - and end up finding, through listening to your customers, that while they’re not particularly picky about the colours they wear, what they’re actually interested in is a better quality of fabric.
In other words, letting your customers share their thoughts with you whenever they fancy allows you to never miss out on any important information that you could be using to improve and grow.
#4 Giving and receiving voice feedback is easy for everyone
The beauty of asynchronous voice messaging between businesses and customers is that it really does make life easier for everyone.
Customers can leave you feedback while their thoughts are still fresh in their mind and on the tip of their tongues.
Then, as a business, you can take the time to digest what they’re saying, organise their suggestions in a manageable way and take their suggestions on board on your own terms - whenever is most convenient for you.
Listen, learn and leverage
Ultimately, if you want to grow as a business, you need to listen to what your customers really think, learn from their comments and leverage these valuable new insights to create a product your customers are genuinely excited about.
And if you're a startup, really humanising your product and even being lovable through great customer service is one of the big advantages you can leverage over larger competitors - as long as you have listened to their customers to know what they want and love. Do take a read of a great case study from Flexiple on this topic.
At the end of the day, the investment you put into making your customers happy (and your product better) will be returned to you tenfold.
After you’ve found out from your customers exactly what makes them tick, not only will you have happy customers who feel that their opinions are valued and heard. You’ll also be well on your way to developing and refining a product which doesn’t just satisfy your customers - it absolutely blows them away!
To find out how our voice messaging platform can help you better understand your customers, get in touch with telbee today!