Listen to your customers…it pays off

Many companies look at the latest technology trends and feel the compulsory need of making changes, not realizing and not knowing what they are doing and the purpose of such a change. They just “want to go to the cloud”, want to “revolution” their business, want to “close the digital gap”…Who is telling you that you have to do it? And more important, why do you think you have to do it?

Unfortunately most people think that bringing technology into their business will suffice to improve their (financial) results. I am afraid that is not enough as technology without a purpose is meaningless. In most occasions companies are just driven by the “hype”. They hear that, whatever is new, will bring benefits to their business. Let me tell you what will bring benefits to your business: your customers. You have to listen to the “voice of your customers” to understand what they want and how they want it. In many occasions the pattern is the other way round: “Lets implement the latest technology so people will feel oblige to use our services”. Well, let me tell you that this is NOT how things work. Lets see how we can improve properly:

Speak to your customers (it doesn’t hurt, believe me)…and listen to them.

I know…you may feel uncomfortable at first, especially those who live in a “techie” bubble and talking to human beings will feel awkward. If you listen to what your customers have to say chances are that they will open your eyes and will point you in the right direction. You may have a problem with your delivery / customer service, waiting / queuing time, information desk…but you may believe that the problem is somewhere else and will only find out by talking to the right people…those for whom, in theory, you are working for and pay for your services.

Think and experience like a customer.

Stop wearing the technological hat and put yourself in your customer’s sues!!! You may develop and implement the coolest applications but, if they mean nothing to your customer, you will be wasting your time. See through your customer’s eyes and experiment like if you were one of them, forget about technology and go back to the basics. That will surely show you where the problem is…then put your technological hat on again and address the issue.

Implement, go-live…and ask again

Well, you just have brought your new product / solution / gadget out of the oven and it is implemented. What do you do now? I hope the answer is not “to move onto other things”. In the infinite wheel of the customer experience and customer satisfaction is time to see if what you just have done is finally fit for the purpose that you were looking for: address that customer issue or improve whatever experience. Go back to the customer satisfaction request and analyze whether further improvements are needed (I intentionally missed the middle steps while developing to ensure that, whatever solution is being done it is what the customer is expecting through the proper implementation methodology i.e. agile). It will not sound right but we all know of many solutions that have been implemented and then left “hoping” that that was what the customer wanted. Never “hope”… reassure your solution vs. customer needs. If you do this your customers will feel that you really care for them. A customer well treated is likely to get back to you and we know that it is easier to obtain a new customer than to keep it…but if you lose it the effort to recover it will be enormous (and often unsuccessful not matter what you try). Once reputation (in customer’s eyes) and confident are lost it is very difficult to regain them. It is much cheaper (and wiser) to work properly from the beginning.

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