Listening to your customers can seem like opening a can of worms. Today, brands often go viral (almost instantly) for one negative tweet or badly handled complaint. Almost every business is going to have some negative feedback, so it may seem easier to just not think about it at all… Right?
The thing is, avoiding listening to your customers is usually what escalates a minor situation into a much bigger problem. There are also a ton of great reasons that listening to your customers can benefit your business. We’ve rounded up the top 7 reasons for you below.
1. Listening and responding to customer feedback leads to better retention rates.
Customer retention is often directly tied to how happy your customers are with you. The first step towards satisfying your customers is listening to them and really understanding their pain points. A great way to do this is to resolve issues for your unhappy customers.
If you receive a negative review and respond to them, don’t just make them feel heard. Do your best to offer some sort of solution to their problem. In many cases this can mean keeping their future business, because you showed that you care and are committed to making them happy.
Image courtesy of Neil Patel
2. Listening to your customers encourages them to build a community around your brand.
Giving your customers a forum to engage with your brand can help build a community for your customers. This can even empower some of your customers to become customer advocates for your brand, who in turn help you promote your business and earn you new customers.
It also allows them the opportunity to read the experiences of other customers, helping foster that brand community. Chances are you already have plenty of customers who love doing business with you. Why not help enable them to share that with the rest of the online world?
3. Listening to your customers builds true customer loyalty.
Once you’ve built a community around your brand, you can focus on true customer loyalty. At first glance this may seem the same as customer retention, but it’s actually different. Customer retention is when your customers continue to purchase from you, but customer loyalty is when your customers love your brand so much that they only buy from you — and tell others about it. The more you engage with your customers and make them feel that their opinion matters to your brand, the more brand loyalty you’ll see from them.
Social media is a great place to cultivate this. Are you monitoring what people say about your brand on social? Are you replying as often as you can? These are some proven ways to grow your brand affinity and build customer loyalty.
4. Understanding your customers' needs gives you more chances to upsell.
Hearing about your customers’ problems is a great time to get more detail into their needs from your business and how you can help. Maybe they aren’t using the product the way it’s intended to be used, or there is a complementary product you sell that is meant to be used in tandem with theirs.
If you’re on a troubleshooting call, for example, and they share a problem they’re having, you may be able to upsell them on a different feature that will help them get more from your product. If you don’t listen to your customers, you may be missing out on these growth opportunities.
5. Listening to your customers improves your product and your business.
At the end of the day, you’re designing your business around what your customers need. If you’re not already listening to their experiences with you, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to improve your customer journey.
Trustpilot customer LoveBook is a great example of this. Whenever they release new product features they track the sentiment of each review around it, so that they can gage whether the feature is likely to be a success or not. This helps them tailor their product around what customers actually want and need from them.
As scary as it may seem, listening to your customers can be particularly helpful for your business when you’re getting negative reviews. If you’re listening to what your customers are saying, they’ll lead you right to the pain points of your business. Changes here could mean huge wins for you.
LoveBook carefully monitors review sentiment around each product release, to make sure it goes smoothly and is well received by their customers
6. Listening to your customers helps you get ahead of bad PR.
Listening to your customers can also help you get ahead of scandals or bad press for your brand. Constantly monitoring how your customers are feeling helps you always keep a pulse on how your business is doing. If there is a problem with your business, you don’t want to be the last to know.
If you’re active about engaging with your customer reviews, it’s also a great way to respond to upset consumers directly, lowering the chance that they’ll take their complaints to more damaging forums.
Listening to your customers ensures that issues can be handled before they turn to social media.
7. Listening to your customers helps you immediately see improvement in multiple areas.
To start seeing these benefits, there are some really easy-to-implement ways to start listening to your customers today. Are you actively collecting reviews from your customers? That’s typically a good place to start.
It will also balance out any negative reviews your customers have left you online, as typically satisfied customers do not leave reviews unless they are prompted to. Why not automate your review collection with Trustpilot today?