Communication with the customer is the key to a successful business. The process of developing customers and adapting the method of communication according to the stage of the customer´s decision-making seems to be of crucial importance. What is consumer value and what questions need to be answered?
How to communicate with the customer: Customer development
The customer is anyone who enters into negotiations with the company. It is not only the one who buys your product or service, but also the one who shows interest in them.
Communication with the customer according to the stage of decision-making is the basis of a successful business. The process of customer development was best described by Philip Kotler, one of the best-known experts in the field of marketing.
- It all starts with a potential customer, a person who is interested in a product or service and is willing to buy it.
- If these customers do not represent a sufficient profit segment or are insolvent, they become disqualified customers.
- Those who make their first purchase with the company and are satisfied usually become repeat customers.
- But the company mainly cares about clients who buy exclusively from them. Customers who are not satisfied with the purchase can start shopping from competing companies.
- A valuable customer for a company is a supporter, one who “praises” the company with others and recommends it to friends and acquaintances.
- The last stage of development is a partner who actively participates in the company’s business activities in various ways.
First-time customers, repeat customers, clients, followers, and partners can become inactive and leave. This must be prevented in all cases. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plays a key role. It is an approach to actively creating and maintaining long-term beneficial relationships with customers, including defining the current stage of the customer.
A small business must be aware of consumer value
Today’s competitive markets make it harder for companies. Gaining and retaining customers is a difficult task. The number of companies is high and customers have the opportunity to choose a product or service that they will perceive as the most valuable. The customer will thus compare the benefits and costs of your product or service in relation to competing offers.
Customer value is a relative concept, but it can be defined as the relationship between satisfying a need and the resources expended to achieve that satisfaction. Customers are not the same, they differ in demands, financial possibilities, and lifestyle. An SME will be successful when it properly understands the needs of customers and develops its products to bring excellent value and price to the customer.
Understanding these needs and managing customer relationships allows you to work with customer satisfaction.
Think carefully about how to communicate with your customer
There are a number of studies that address the impact of customer satisfaction on corporate business. One of them states that 44% of reasonably satisfied customers often change suppliers. Those who are highly satisfied, on the other hand, have no reason to buy products, even better ones, from other companies. Such facts about customer service or the view of client satisfaction are increasing in number and companies are therefore gradually, but fundamentally, changing their behavior.
Whether your customer is pleased or disappointed is up to you. Customer satisfaction is based on customer feelings and expectations, which is why successful companies work to create and meet high expectations.
Manage customer relationships and think carefully about how to communicate with the customer, it will have an explicit impact on the functioning and profits of your company.
Satisfied customer or dissatisfied customer, the choice is yours
A satisfied customer should be one of the goals towards which the company is heading. A small business best understands how to communicate with the customer once it defines the most important characteristics.
- Determine who your customer is.
Are they internal customers, intermediaries, external customers using additional outputs, or final consumers? Do you do business in the B2B segment or in the B2C market?
- Define customer requirements and create signs of customer satisfaction.
Customer requirements are usually a combination of their own needs and expectations. For example, Baťa considered it important not only to meet the customer’s requirements but above all to anticipate these requirements before the customer is even aware of the needs himself.
- Design and create a way to monitor customer satisfaction.
The most used form of monitoring customer satisfaction is questionnaires. However, they should be elaborate: the questions must be well defined and the appropriate format of the questionnaires must be chosen. Small and medium-sized enterprises can also use focus group discussions, direct interviews with individuals, or the so-called critical incident method.
- Select appropriate and effective methods of data collection as well as their evaluation.
It is necessary to take into account the scope of respondent selection, the company’s budget for measuring customer satisfaction, or the company’s technical capabilities.
- Use the obtained results of satisfaction measurement to improve processes.
Satisfaction research results can reveal negative trends, economic problems, or product dissatisfaction. When companies work with company results, they can not only maintain customer loyalty but can also be economically successful in the long run.
Conversion (customer service) as number one!
Focus on the customer relationship management mentioned above. Create a process for collecting, processing, and using customer information.
Prevention should therefore be the main point and customer dissatisfaction should not occur at all. If you promise a set of benefits that your product brings (reliability of delivery, complex product, etc.), then these promises must meet reality. Customer support is important. It is the alpha and omega for gaining and retaining satisfied clients, but also for transforming a dissatisfied customer.
Outsourcing customer service has its advantages
Thanks to our vast experience, the myTimi virtual assistants have found that outsourcing customer service has two major advantages.
- Increase in customer satisfaction by up to 40%.
- Reduction of internal labor costs by up to 90%.
How does myTimi most often help small and medium-sized enterprises?
- We handle communication on social networks, e-mail, or over the phone.
- We act as a helpdesk.
- We handle complaints.
- We administer orders.
- We act as the first filter of communication with customers.