Businesses understand that they need customers, but it’s surprising to see how many businesses seem to care very little about them. Businesses can get away with poor product research and development, bad practices, or poor customer service when customers don’t have a voice. However, companies that don’t care about their customers today will suffer the consequences. If you still don’t understand how crucial it is for you to put your customers first, here are some of the things you should consider.
User Experience is Everything
If you have a product or service and the buying experience is bad, you can expect to lose a lot of customers. A study found that 17% of customers will not return to a business after a single bad experience. It also found that 59% of customers will not return to a business after multiple experiences, even if they liked the product. So, if you think that having a good product is enough for you to keep your clientele, think again.
If you haven’t started paying attention to your customers’ user experience or don’t know how to monitor it, you will have to learn how to do a customer journey map. Customer journey maps allow you to map out every stage from the minute your customer first interacts with your business to when they check out.
A customer journey map will help you to identify unnecessary or cumbersome steps in the buying process. You can also measure the success of every stage and see if some of the stages in your process are affecting your conversions negatively. This is a tool any business should use to improve their efficiency and improve their relationship with their clientele.
Your Customers Will Be Your Advocates or Detractors
Customers have more power now than ever, and if you provide bad service, they can sink your brand very fast. If you provide great service, on the other hand, they can help boost brand awareness and bring business to you through social proof and word-of-mouth.
It’s estimated that 83% of customers are influenced by word-of-mouth when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Offering stellar services and products could be enough for your business to reach a large audience, and word-of-mouth marketing converts much better than most other tactics.
Another thing you have to worry about is influencers. If your business is known for not caring about its customers, there is a strong chance that it will end up on someone’s channel. And if they have a sizable audience, you could have bad customer service or user experience attached to your name forever.
Customers Can Help You Improve
Another thing that customers can do is help you constantly improve your products. If you have a good relationship with your customers but feel like you can do better, you can use them to complete surveys or provide recommendations.
Businesses today are trying to get their customers more involved in the research and development process, and it can pay back dividends. Being able to ask your core audience what they want in a product and make changes accordingly could give you a significant edge in your industry.
Your customers can also be very valuable when you want to test new products. Most companies are constantly trying to expand their range of products, but one study found that 95% of all new products fail. More of them would have been successful if they used their pool of customers properly.
Instead of shooting in the dark, companies can present a wide variety of product concepts and gauge customer sentiment before they launch. They can ask a group of customers for feedback on each idea. They can then gauge things like quality, value, demand, and purchasing intent to get a quick idea of the products customers would like the most. This will increase the chances that a product will be a success and prevent you from wasting money on product development.
Customers Control Your Destiny
At the end of the day, you don’t have a business if you don’t have customers. You can start losing customers over time, but it could only take one event for you to lose a large chunk of your customers and close your doors. This is why you need to protect your brand image at all costs and always put your customers first.
These are all reasons why customers are extremely important for businesses of all sizes. If they aren’t a priority for you already, take the steps necessary to change your approach starting today.