Smaller companies always lack customer recognition when compared to larger, established companies. Therefore, lesser known companies need to constantly fight to gain that competitive edge, which can be achieved through stellar customer satisfaction. This relies on knowing what issues may appear and responding to them promptly.
Achieving great customer satisfaction is a healthy way to grow a business. Great customer satisfaction leads to a valuable resource for referrals and free advertisement.
Here are 3 strategies for any developing business to create an outstanding reputation with their customers.
1. Reiterate and Listen Well
This seems to be overly stated, and for good reason. Much of the time, companies assume the customer is experiencing certain problems or desires certain features. The customers give a set of criteria and that is it. Unfortunately, that isn’t the best way to develop customer satisfaction.
Here’s what I’ve learned from customer interactions when developing an application:
First, you will need to listen and make sure everything is understood. Asking many questions during this phase is expected. After getting the correct set of requirements, it is crucial to reiterate each one once they have been accomplished. Going back and reviewing the requirement will ensure they are correctly understood. It is even a good idea to create a rough draft of the interactions right then and there. This allows both the customer and the developer to see the end product. Then, they can decide if they should proceed or not.
2. Flexibility is Key
Another competitive advantage that a small company has is the ability to be more flexible. While larger companies may spend weeks communicating changes to their development team, you can immediately take the new changes and implement them.
Customers rarely know exactly what they want. The reason they are coming to you to do development is because they cannot themselves. They have an image in their head regarding how certain features will work, and if it isn’t exactly what they want, you need to be ready for it.
After each interaction and presentation to the customer, expect to have feedback that will change the general direction of the development process. Most of the time it will be something small, and being flexible gives your customers the feeling that the service is catered to them. Quite the opposite of larger companies who have a set system in place and flexibility is limited.
3. Communicate Effectively
The presentation is only one part of the communication process. Another part of the communication process is giving your customer feedback regarding limitations of problems with the application.
It is always harder to give “bad” news instead of “good” news, yet it still needs to be done. Anytime you cannot accomplish a certain requirement, it needs to be communicated to the customer immediately. Furthermore, it is important to discuss limitations of the features in a given application with your customers and conclude with a solution. Pushing the problem to the side and waiting until the customer brings up the issue always ends in unsatisfied customers.
Satisfied customers are the goal, and it starts with developing relationships through these methods. Small companies can use these tactics to gain an advantage against their competitors. More satisfied customers = an advantage your company will gain.
Learn how you can drive customer success and better customer engagement, while dramatically reducing churn.
About the AuthorMore Content by Ivan Zhang