Take off those rose-tinted spectacles and start looking at your business the way your customers do, writes Chris Ogden, CEO of RubiBlue.

Do you know what your customer’s need? Have you really looked at their problems and challenges and asked yourself how your product or solution helps solve them? Do you even know if your business addresses any one of the myriad pain points they face every day in their personal and professional lives?

These questions have changed shape and focus over the past two years. The pandemic has fundamentally shifted customer expectations and customer service on their heads. Now, customers want fast, efficient, reliable and agile.

They don’t want slow, argumentative and complicated.

They also don’t want to deal with anymore stress, thank you very much. There’s plenty of other problems, they don’t want to add to the pile when they deal with your organisation and your products or services.

This means that you have to change. You have to recognise that experience itself has become a commodity – one that both your customers and your employees demand. This also means you need to find innovative ways of connecting with customers, curating their experiences, and changing the ways in which they engage with your company.


Use the right technology

Consider investing into intuitive and innovative IT solutions that can deliver services in real time. This can be anything from an administrative system that refines operations so that customer service is tighter and faster, to an application that assists with transactions and financial management, to ensuring that you use the right tools for compliance and management.

Companies can also bolster their customer service by investing into robust ERP platforms that can interconnect with these additional tools, apps and systems to deliver rapid and responsive customer service across multiple touchpoints.


Put in the effort

Research, research, research. Find out what people need through all the myriad of digital and physical research channels available to you.

And, when you engage with your customers in person, ask them questions and write those insights down. Listen. Then translate these insights into actions. Use the technologies and toolkits you’ve spent time and money integrating into your business to refine your interactions across every one of these channels and touchpoints.


Bad feedback is great feedback

If clients are unhappy, they talk to you. This is good news. Use this feedback to build solutions that change these issues into advantages.

This is when you should consider building an open feedback loop or mechanism into your business to ensure that you are getting the best possible insights from your customers.

It’s also a good idea to check their criticism against reality before you spend thousands on fixing a problem that doesn’t really exist. For example, if they complain about poor customer care, assess your process and see how many complaints you have. It may be that one customer happened to deal with that one unhappy employee.


Understand their business

Your client has their own clients who have their own clients, and so on, and so forth. Take the time to get to know their business and their market.

Often entrepreneurs don’t get to know how their client’s businesses work and they miss a crucial trick. By spending time with them and listening to them you get to understand their pain points and their needs.

This way you can be the one who helps to fix their problems properly.


Don’t stop innovating

Don’t fear the ability to change something to suit a client’s needs. Your products and services have to evolve constantly as your market and consumers are changing constantly. You need to add value, change features or adjust your services dependent on the business you are in. Pay attention and innovate.