Many businesses introduce a new product or service by saying, “Our customers have asked for this…”
You’ve seen TV commercials or seen ads that say something like this:
“Our customers asked for an easier way to…” Or, “Our customers asked us to make our vacuums more powerful.” You get the idea.
Whether you work in a technology company or a consumer business, some shy away from saying this, because they don’t want to appear as if they are reactive. They believe they should look proactive enough that their customers never have to ask for a new product feature or service, that the company is way ahead of the curve. That’s not always the best approach.
Here are four immediate benefits of letting people know that your customers have asked for more:
1. It shows you’re listening and have the pulse of your customers.
How else would you know what customers want unless you have a system in place and a culture where there is open dialog? Have all the best inventions come only from companies, or are great products and services partly a result of companies listening to their customers’ needs?
Even more than listening to feedback, you deeply understand the challenges your customers face. When customers ask for something more, it immediately makes sense because you understand their needs.
2. It shows your customers have a relationship with you and want to remain loyal.
Dissatisfied customers can leave you for your competitor. The fact that they’ve asked you for an improvement shows they are loyal to you. When you make an improvement to your product or service based on customer feedback, you’re acknowledging that you exist for your customers—not the other way around. Lasting loyalty goes both ways.
3. It speaks to your ability to deliver.
Being able to change your service to meet a customer’s need speaks to your capabilities. Customers often hear, “We can’t do that,” or “It’s not our policy…” How gratifying it is for a customer to hear, “Yes, we can do that.”
Companies build their brand reputation when they can demonstrate they have the resources and expertise to deliver what customers want – not just the simple requests, but changes that build brand equity. Of course, most changes don’t happen overnight. The companies that can adapt to what the customers have asked for are the winners.
4. It empowers your customer.
Customers never want to feel they exist to build your empire. Letting customers know you’ve improved because they asked makes them feel valued.
Years ago, there was a very popular fast food restaurant just a few miles from my home. Although it was close, it was the opposite direction where most people shopped and ate out. I called the chain and unapologetically asked for one closer to where I shopped. Several months later, a restaurant appeared right where I wanted it. As much as I realized their decision was based on far more reasons than my phone call, it felt good believing the company acted because I asked.
What are your customers asking for, and what are you changing because of their requests?