Can you afford to ignore your customers?
This is a good question for all business leaders to ask themselves.
One way to find an answer is to ask yourself what might happen if you did ignore them and failed to take their views of your products and service in to account when making important decisions.
Everyone has a soapbox
The saying goes that the customer is always right, yet that hasn't always felt like the case.
Once upon a time if a person received terrible service from a business, they may have vowed never to return and told family and some friends about it. That would have been about the extent of it.
In the grand scheme of things, a business could weather the odd bad customer experience without noticing it too much.
Nowadays there is a little thing called the internet and a very big thing called social media which has transformed our ability to connect with others.
It has also transformed our ability to complain, vent frustrations and publicise negative service experiences – everybody has a soapbox!
What this means for businesses
Now that we have democratised the ability to broadcast a complaint, and of course to interact more positively as well, businesses have good reason to take a keen interest in customer feedback.
That's because as excellent as social media may be for marketing your brand in a positive way, there are thousands of amateur marketers (consumers) out there ready and willing to give you a negative spin at the slightest provocation.
Of course there will always be those who abuse this capability. You can't stop them, but there are many who will only resort to posting about your business as a last resort out of frustration.
Get there first
One way to prevent people legitimately complaining about you is to never make mistakes and guess exactly what your customers want.
Another more realistic method is to conduct a regular customer service survey to get an accurate picture of your customers' expectations and their level of satisfaction.