Saturday, April 30, 2011

Do You Have The Guts?

To hear the bad news?


Ask Customers What You Don't Do Well

When you spend proverbial blood, sweat and tears building a small business, the last thing you probably want to do is ask customers what you're getting wrong. But it doesn't have to be a horrendous experience—and it's a great way to identify and resolve issues before customers leave in a huff, or simply drift to a competitor.

"Our Community team began to ask every customer on the phone, 'What's a great Emma experience you've had?" notes Jim Hitch at the Emma blog. "And what's one that's not so great, so we can improve?' We had some fantastic conversations and got some interesting answers."

Emma's customer had lots of good things to say, but they also noted a few issues that fell into the not-so-great column. For instance:

  • They said they'd like an easier billing process and improved resources for savvier users. "We said, 'Can do,'" notes Hitch.
  • They also mentioned difficulty reaching Emma staff by phone. "We said, 'Good to know. We're on it,'" he says. "Then we updated our phone system."

The company also discovered that many of its customers were thrilled with the current experience.

"One of the best answers to the question of what we can improve ... was 'none,'" he recalls. "Ahh, what a beautiful four-letter word. In fact, 21% of customers said 'none.'"

The Po!nt: Don't be afraid to ask your customers what needs to be fixed—they'll give you the insights you need to make the improvements that keep them coming back.

Source: Emma.

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