By Paul Peterson
Your relationship with your customers has never mattered more than it does today.
Customers no longer just expect you to sell them a product or service. Instead, they want you to be one step ahead of them, understanding their pain points and bringing issues -- and solutions -- to the table.
To do that, you need to understand your customer and bring transparency to the relationship.
Today’s consumers have more access than ever to information about your company, your reputation and how you conduct business, making it critical that your customers – all of them – have a positive experience. In the past, companies built their brand and cultivated their image, and a negative customer experience was shared with friends and family. Today, the internet makes it easy to share experiences both positive and negative with dozens, hundreds or thousands of your potential customers.
Your employees, and your customers, are going to make mistakes, but how you react and recover has become a matter of public scrutiny. It is critical that you be honest and transparent with customers, or your company could earn a reputation as one that says one thing and does another.
To ensure that you understand your customers and are meeting their expectations, ask yourself the following.
- What are they looking for?
- What are their wants and needs?
- What are they thinking, and why?
- Does your target audience relate to your company?
- Is your company relatable in your targeted geographical location?
It is critical for companies today to empathize with their customers and understand them at a deeper level. For example, in the past, an accounting firm might send clients a summary about tax legislation enacted by the IRS. But today’s clients want more, and a firm that understands its clients’ needs would instead send information about how that legislation impacts them.
So take a deep dive to understand your customers’ wants and needs and the impetus behind them. By identifying their pain points and exceeding their expectations, you’ll be well on your way to building customer relationships that last.
As Managing Partner, Paul Peterson leads the Firm’s long term strategy and helps cultivate an environment where our people can flourish in servicing our clients.