What we mean by Voice of Customer
Your business exists solely to address a need that your customers have. Sure, you are also doing this for other reasons, like it makes you feel good. However, let’s face it, you would not have a business if what you offered was not of value to your (paying) customers. What is more, years working with big businesses and small the world over has shown us it costs far more to acquire new customers than to keep the ones you have, happy.
For you, the small business owner to stay on top of peoples’ changing needs, you need to be asking questions and really listening to the answers you get back. Nothing stays the same for long. And that includes what your customers want or need from you. In a world with increasing competition, it doesn’t take long before someone-else comes along and offers what appears to be a newer, brighter-shining object. Before you know it, your customer starts getting tempted to take a look ‘over there’.
It is important you keep your finger on the pulse and keep checking in with those who pay your bills, via some form of customer feedback or voice of customer program.
The role social proof plays in growing your business
This topic warrants its own article. In summary, “stories sell”. This comes from one of our mentors, Stu McLaren; founder of Tribe membership course and Searchie software. Stu is always encouraging people to capture the stories of transformation you create in the lives of your clients and customers, because others want to know what you can do for them.
The more reviews, testimonials, and customer stories you can gather the better. They provide you with a diverse set of voices, telling others what you can do for them. And the best bit, you don’t have to employ expensive copywriters in to work on your marketing because you are encouraging customers to do that for you.
If you are not yet convinced, ask yourself, when was the last time you bought something online, or booked a restaurant or hotel without first taking a good look through the reviews? Go on, be honest! We all want reassurance about the choices we (are about to) make and that’s why having a VOC program matters in your business too.
What do we do with all the feedback
This is another topic that warrants a lot more coverage; but in a nutshell – the feedback you gather is only ever as good as what you do with it. That means, if you ask me once a year what I think but then do nothing with that information, the next time you come asking, I won’t respond.
If, however you take the time to respond to my feedback, and especially if I’ve given you constructive criticism or complained about something you did that made me upset, and you show me what you are doing to fix the issue and how things are improving, you will gain more of my trust.
There is real danger forging ahead with your new business idea or venture if you have little evidence there is real demand out there for the thing you want to offer. We have worked with clients to help them engage their prospective audience to figure out what level of demand exists before moving forward.
This is particularly relevant if you have a Brick & Mortar business that you want to take online. Figuring out how to repackage and sell the value of what you offer to an online audience takes skill and practice. It really is important you approach this with an open mind.
Why listen to us?
Ryan, our Cultivator in Chief here at Tall Poppy Leaders has over 25 years working in big corporate organizations around the world, including PwC, BT Global Services, Virgin Media and Zendesk, where he has shaped customer feedback programs and implemented a wide range of customer experience and customer service improvement initiatives. He founded Tall Poppy Leaders to empower small business owners and solopreneurs like you to learn from the best in terms of how to listen to your customers and give them what they need, so you can grow your business profitably and in sustainable, scalable ways.
How to get started today
We believe the most important thing you can do today is to start having conversations with your clients, (if you sell to other businesses) or your customers, (if you sell to consumers). That’s right, pick up the phone, drop them a message or call them and ask how you are doing.
Heck, why not have a look at your automated email sequences, (you’ve got some of those, right?) that you use to bring people into your world and convert them to paying customers. We see leaders in this space engaging prospective customers right from the beginning, and you will have seen this too… You get an email asking you to “hit reply and tell me one thing that’s on your mind.”
Another good place to introduce a ‘listening post’ is right after your customer buys from you or reaches out for help or support. This is one area you will have experience voice of customer and customer feedback programs in your everyday life. Think about the checkout receipts you get with the printed invitation to “tell us how we did today”, or the survey you get asked to take via SMS or email after almost every purchase you make today.
Customer feedback programs are everywhere. Because they are so prolific, we tend to tune out and ignore a lot of them. That is why we are committed to helping you stand out online and get noticed. We firmly believe establishing your own customer listening, voice of customer program is key.