How to manage customer needs as a way of growing your business
A key driver to business growth is the value you attach to your customers.
The adage “the customer is king” remains true today as it was 100 years ago. Meeting the needs of your customer must be top on the list of your business priorities.
Prioritise your customers to retain existing customers and attract new ones.
Are you stuck in thought wondering how to manage your customer needs? Here is how to do it.
Start by asking these questions;
- Who is your customer?
- What do they need?
- Why do they need this now?
- How can you deliver their needs?
This article outlines five key strategies to manage your customer needs to grow your business
1. Be Honest and set realistic expectations
Part of managing customers’ needs is by being honest about how you plan to meet their needs. Managing the customers’ expectation at the onset of any business transaction sets you on the right pace for a smooth business.
Here is an example, if you are setting up a restaurant at the heart of a central business district and most of your potential customers would prefer deliveries, you need to be clear about how you plan to meet this expectation.
Be honest about the time you are more comfortable with making lunch deliveries to their offices and whether any delivery made, comes with an additional cost.
Explain both in writing and verbally what you can do, and what you may not be able to do. Honesty is a tool that every business must hold to manage the needs of your customers.
2. Stick to plans
Managing the needs of your customers also requires you to plan with your customer and sticking with it.
Here is another example. If your business offers house construction services, and your customer needs a bungalow constructed at his site located 45 kilometres from the city, then you need to discuss a plan of action with your customer.
The plan will outline how the project is going to be implemented, who is responsible for what and the timeline for completion. A clear plan may not only meet the need of your customer but will also create customer confidence and trust in your service.
3. Don’t Wait to be asked
Failing to keep your customer informed about the progress of delivery, is a sign of poor customer care.
Let’s say you have been hired to deliver cakes for a wedding party, but your deliveries are delayed by a heavy traffic jam.
Don’t wait for the customer to call with anger yelling at you “Where are my cakes, are you aware that time is not on my side?”
Keep your customer informed about the delays to win the trust you need to push your business in a positive direction.
It is important to remember that most customer referrals contribute to business growth. So failing to keep your customer at the forefront of your actions, is likely to dent your reputation and affect your business.
4. Maintain open communication
Make sure you are available to your customers 24/7. Establish an open communication policy for your business which allows your customers to keep in touch through chats, e-mail or phone.
An open communication policy with your customers allows you to respond to sudden needs when they pop up.
Technological advancements have created multiple platforms through which you can communicate with your customers. Take advantage of Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to engage with your customers.
5. Solicit feedback from your customer
Perhaps the most crucial strategy for managing customers’ needs is to follow up and get customer feedback about your products and services.
Make a call to find out using your products made them feel. Listen to their complaints and act on their suggestions.
Even Microsoft founder, Bill Gates believes that “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon believes that; “we see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It is our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better.”
This belief should set a precedent for meeting your customers’ needs.
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