Improving Customer Connections
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Perhaps more than ever, the need to improve customer service is on the radar of many leaders. Although serving others is not a new concept in leadership, embracing our customers as extensions of our Corporate Family® creates an added dimension to leading as many of us struggle to reopen and reengage with our clientele. Plus, in this post-pandemic environment, all leaders must recognize that customers have changed. They are not only more digitally savvy, but today’s consumers are also far more discriminating about how and where they’ll invest their limited resources.
While most leaders would agree that serving all customers is paramount to success, determining the precise steps that should be taken to ensure such improvement can be daunting. At LEADon®, we endeavor to provide straightforward leadership strategies, so here are two tactics to consider in order to improve your service and connections with your customers. For optimal success, you and your team must:
- Know your customers’ needs.
- Care about your clients—your extended Corporate Family®
At first glance, these two steps for improving customer service may seem oversimplified. Yet are you and your Corporate Family® members sure you have mastered these fundamentals? Let’s find out by taking a few minutes to reflect on these questions:
- How have the needs of your customers/clients changed due to the events of 2020-2021?
- How has your Corporate Family® pivoted in order to target and provide for those changes?
- Is a ‘culture of caring’ role modeled within your Corporate Family®, starting in the C-suite and cascading throughout the organization?
- In a customer survey, would your clientele describe your Corporate Family® as a caring one?
The team at LEADon® believes ‘knowing and caring’ must be at the foundation of any strategy to improve the service and care of your customers in 2021 and beyond. Let’s take a deeper dive into both of these significant strategies.
In a September 2016 Harvard Business Review article, authors Christensen, Hall, Dillon, and Duncan reported that many companies are collecting customer data that tends to reveal correlations rather than the causality of customers’ actions. After studying numerous businesses, the researchers came to the conclusion that what organizations “really need to hone in on is the progress that the customer is trying to make in a given circumstance—what the customer hopes to accomplish. This is what we’ve come to call the job to be done” (see more at https://hbr.org/2016/09/know-your-customers-jobs-to-be-done).
Knowing what a customer is trying to accomplish, that “job to be done,” shouldn’t be a difficult task given modern technology. As Business News Daily contributor Sammi Caramela points out, “a great way to stay informed about your customers’ wants and needs is by sending out surveys. . . surveying your customers can help improve your overall product or service offering and cater to what your customers want.” In addition to discovering this kind of critical data about the needs of your clientele, you may also find that “when your customers feel like they have input on what you are providing, it can help build loyalty” (read Caramela’s February 2021 article “How to Connect with Customers” at https://www.businessnewsdaily.com).
The loyalty by-product mentioned above is exactly what customer care will also produce. According to Toma Kubyte in a June 2021 post, today’s customers “stay loyal with companies due to the experience they receive” (see “37 Customer Experience Statistics You Need To Know for 2021” at https://www.superoffice.com/blog/customer-experience-statistics/). Michele McGovern explains that such caring involves listening, respect, positivity, and empathy, which to some may seem like soft skills “but if customers don’t feel like you care, they won’t stay loyal” (https://www.customerexperienceinsight.com/7-ways-to-show-customers-you-really-care/).
The team at LEADon® has encouraged leaders to understand that their emotional quotient (EQ) is vital to address, both personally and professionally. In fact, we created the Developing Emotional Competency Questionnaire (DECQ®) to help leaders and their teams identify strengths and weaknesses in EQ characteristics like empathy, optimism, communication, and service orientation—all necessary components for creating a culture of caring which can be cascaded to your Corporate Family® members and your clients. In addition, many of our online courses can help you and your team to improve essential leadership skills which will directly impact connections with all of your customers.
Knowing the needs of our clientele and caring about them have been fundamental to LEADon’s® mission and vision since our founding, and we hope to continue improving our connections with customers in the days ahead. To help us in this process, would you take our Corporate Family® survey by clicking here? And if you have any specific questions or concerns we can address, please contact us at 858.592.0700 or www.LEADonUniversity.com.