Do You Have a Customer Diplomacy Problem

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Do You Have a Customer Diplomacy Problem

If customer communications are a weak spot in your company, this article from Jeremy Greenberg may help improve communication and, consequently, relationships. 

As business owners and leaders, we know that our customers are the lifeblood of our companies. Without them, we wouldn’t exist. When customers leave us for our competitors, express dissatisfaction, or want to see a change in our products or services, we should set out to understand why. But, why wait until then? If we do, it may be too late. We should proactively seek to deeply understand our customers’ needs, and not wait until a business challenge occurs to get to know them.

The Problem: Not Realizing There is a Problem

In our experience working on behalf of dozens of companies at Avenue Group, we have found that most business leaders do not focus sufficiently on understanding what makes their customers tick. And the few who do focus on customer feedback tend to do a superficial job of it.

Why is this the case? Customer research seems so easy: get a sample of customers, ask them a bunch of questions, analyze their responses, and, poof… insights! Except, it’s not that simple. If your organization thinks it’s easy, you’re likely not doing it correctly. Disregarding the complexity of this issue will lead to the loss of valuable information that would not only improve customer satisfaction but increase company revenue and profit.

The Concept of “Customer Diplomacy”

We have conducted thousands of customer interviews and hundreds of quantitative surveys for dozens of companies, from startups to some of the largest companies in the world. We have found that both the companies and the market research firms that they hire ignore a very important concept: Customer Diplomacy.

Customer Diplomacy is the careful, balanced partnership that a business creates with its customers to develop information that helps both the business and its customers.

Why Diplomacy?

Unless you have an extraordinarily small, local business, your customers are not your friends. They are not your enemies. At the heart of the company-customer relationship is a transactional component: your customers provide you money in exchange for a product or service. We want to move the relationship to a place that is emotionally-positive and robust. However, at its core the relationship is transactional. This means that one miscue might tick off your customers, whereas one positive move can lock your customers in for life.

Diplomacy is critical to converting a transactional relationship into a deeper one, and, for maintaining and deepening the relationship further.

Key points include:

  • Focusing on actionable information
  • Using a trusted third party
  • Unpacking complex, in-depth needs

 

Read the full article, Yes, You Have a Customer Diplomacy Problem, on AveGroup.com.