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What do your customers really care about?

What do your customers really care about?

Understanding your customers is always touted as a fundamental foundation for communications and marketing. And there’s genuinely nothing better than knowing what your own customers care about.

But what are the general issues that most concern people?

What do customers want?

And what do they hate?

We’ve gone looking for research that provides a picture of what people are broadly concerned about.

And the stats suggest a few key details:

Good service is better than fast service.

In the race to do everything more quickly, some customer communications professionals lose sight of what customers really care about. Yes, speed is important, but it’s not always the most important thing.

And time is also relative. We will happily spend five minutes browsing products and placing an order, but two minutes waiting for a customer service reply can feel like an eternity. On the other hand, customers appreciate when a business is willing to take the time to properly resolve issues and provide a high-quality service.

Research by the Gallup Organization demonstrates that customers appreciate prompt service, but only if it’s matched by attention to detail and sufficient time given to important moments. After all, it’s these customer moments that meet our emotional needs, and turn us into loyal customers.

While not quite the same thing, this discussion does bring to mind the classic idea that you can't have something that is good, fast and cheap. You can only ever hope to achieve two of these features at any time. 

 

Customers know what they need (and want).

One key reason for conducting customer research is to find out what customers need. Not only do they have clear ideas that you could turn into service improvements, they may also have ideas for major innovations.

While many customer comments will be the product of good or bad experiences with your brand, you may also find thoughtful suggestions about changes to existing products – or ideas for entirely new lines of business.

Researchers at Harvard Business Review found that many commercially available products are initially conceived of, and even prototyped, by users. These users are often ‘lead users’ who have the most advanced needs in a customer group. Their need for more features or new solutions leads them to advance products and services.

The research also found that user-led innovations are often more profitable than their in-house competitors, producing an average revenue of $146 million in five years, compared to $18 million for the internal innovations.

Does your organisation have lead users? And could that group help to drive innovations? How can you connect with your most motivated users and respond to their needs?

Being recognised is powerful.

Using your customers' names is an important way to show them you’re not simply sending mass communications anonymously. 

Using names can help you:

  • Be more liked
  • Get more emails opened
  • Be perceived as competent and in control.

Research by Infosys found that 59% of shoppers believe that personalisation has a noticeable influence on purchasing. And 31% of shoppers wish their shopping experience was more personalised.

This is backed up by the research into the ‘principles of persuasion’, and the principle of liking in particular. We are more likely to do business with people we like. And it’s hard to like companies that have no idea who we are. Personalising your communications and experiences shows people that you see them as an individual, and this makes them more likely to feel a connection to your brand.

 

Want to reach your customers with meaningful messages?

DocCentrics can help you digitise your customer communications, and reach every customer with a personalised message – even when you have thousands of customers. Our Customer Communications Management (CCM) platform makes this kind of dynamic personalisation as easy as sending a single email.

Contact our team to find out more.