customer service

Customer service – 3 simple rules to fulfil your obligations

Product planning and implementation can be a haze of deadlines, bottom lines and targets. It’s often too easy to lose sight of the customer, but customer centricity should always be your number one priority. Fundamentally, your success is almost entirely dictated by your customer’s reaction to the product or service you’re selling, and the way you handle your customer service.

If you keep these 3 core principles in mind in the midst of the product development and management haze, you’ll never lose sight of your customer.

3.  Reach your customers on their terms

Customer segmentation is one of the most important things a marketer can learn in the digital age – but is it as complicated as it sounds? That scary marketing jargon makes it sound like you should be reaching customers in one million and one different ways, and let’s be real – nobody has time for that.

In fact, it comes down to the simple principal of building your product or service around – and with – your customers. Let them segment themselves!

Developing an integrated customer service system that allows your customers to tell you what it is they want will allow you to easily tailor your product, feedback or updates for that base. One concept can easily be tweaked, adapted and rolled out as the ideal product for your ideal customer – as long as you let your customers tell you what their ideal product is!

2.   But don’t make your customers do extra work!

Still, as a product or project manager, it’s your job to make sure you know what the customer wants – don’t rely on the customer to tell you. Bombarding customers with satisfaction surveys is statistically senseless. With external survey response rates averaging just 15%, it’s hard to justify the time sink of creating, distributing and analyzing your survey.

Instead, ensure your customers’ voluntary, organic feedback is integrated into your customer service process. A system that gathers your customers’ feedback, logs it, and allows you to react won’t just save you lots of time – it will ensure the feedback genuinely captures your customer’s pain points as they arise.

1.   Be proactively reactive!

Gathering customer feedback is only one part of the puzzle. Reacting to customer feedback appropriately, and making appropriate changes quickly, has the power to make your business genuinely spectacular.

Customers want speedy reaction time, not lengthy reporting processes. So whether your customers are digital natives or Gen-X-ers, everyone has come to expect immediate results after just a few clicks, and if you can’t provide this to your customer then you’re offering them a time frame between updates to look elsewhere. Approach product management with a collaborative attitude –gather your customer’s feedback and adjust your strategy appropriately – and you’ll be prepared to offer timely, appropriate updates that genuinely meet your customer’s needs.

If your business needs help keeping these principles at the core of its product management activities, you could benefit from learning a bit about our product management software. Turn all ideas and feedback into actionable items and get work done!

Photo Credit: “Origami” / Michell Zappa / CC BY

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