What Your Customers Want You

It’s no secret your company needs to provide quality service to enhance the value it provides its customers. Your bottom line depends on it, and there's no better way to go about improving interactions and relationships with customers than considering their perspective, determining what matters to them, and then acting accordingly.

Without further ado, here are seven things your customers want from you: 

1. Provide quality customer service, not quick customer service. – Are you able to quickly attend to the needs of your customers? It’s great if you do, but what would they say about the quality of the customer service you provide? Don’t just be efficient at serving your clients. Be effective. Your reputation depends on it.

2. Ask (and be willing to listen to) what they want. – You’re the expert on your product or service, but your customers are the experts on what they need. So before you try to sell clients on a particular offering or solution, first get a sense for what they're actually looking for from you. Ask, then listen, then sell (in that order). 

3. Offer them personalization. – More and more companies today are learning the value of providing more personalized service, as it offers the potential to positively impact their bottom lines. Are you? Because there's value in embracing personalization. It's just a matter of if you’re willing to put in the time to put a personal touch on a transaction. Even a little bit of effort can make a considerable difference. 

4. Show a willingness to collaborate. – It’s easy to think of collaboration as something that happens internally in a company. However, it can be just as valuable to you if it occurs with customers. Bounce ideas off your clients, solicit feedback, and show a willingness to help them meet their own organizational goals. Collaboration -- when done right -- can end up being a win-win for both you and your customers.

5. Let them know you can provide exceptional value, then back it up with results. At the end of the day, your clients are looking to maximize the value of the time, effort and resources they put into their transactions. Make it clear you can provide significant value, and be specific about exactly what you can offer. Most importantly, though, you need to back up your promises with results.

6. Connect with the customer, but don't make it about you. – Here’s a sure-fire way to submarine a relationship with your clients: talk about yourself all of the time. Yes, it’s important to convince your customers yours is the best company to provide them with the product and service they’re looking for, but make sure the vast majority of conversations with your clients revolve around their needs, wants and expectations. Your customers are looking for someone to focus on them. And if you won’t, they’ll find someone who will.   

7. Don't tell them you're an expert. Show them you're an expert. – Sales is all about providing results. Talking a big game can only take you so far, because eventually you’ll have to show your customers what you can do. Make an effort to engage clients by highlighting and explaining product features, demonstrating what your offering can do, and being prepared to answer questions or provide additional information when necessary.

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