It's a bit of a given that listening to your customers helps you become a better business, but when you're working 24/7 to make yourself more successful, we can sometimes forget that it's the most simple of things that get you the most significant rewards. So, let's get back to basics.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your company; they're the expert in your product, the guinea pig, the focus group, they have all the answers so its probably a good idea to listen to them when they have questions or comments. It pays to be a little bit obsessed with your customers and here is a few big-name companies who are doing just that.
The online e-commerce giant Amazon
Amazon is the expert in making their customers needs not only met but surpassed. They're one of the bigger companies who take advantage of every advancement in technology if it means their customers experience will benefit massively from it.
They have a dedicated customer service team who are there to find every solution to their customers' problems and often provide gift vouchers or free add-on extras like prime to make the customers' lives a little bit easier. They're keen to hear feedback to make their brand better and keep people coming back continually.
Fast Food Restaurant and Franchise McDonald's
The brand is famous for listening to their customers and delivering, stating on their website 'without you, there would be no us'. They've created a 'food philosophy', "The simpler, the better". It's even trademarked, so you know they're serious about it. With customers becoming much more conscious of where their food comes from, McDonald's launched a vast campaign to let them know. In the UK, they only use British beef and announced a global commitment to sustainable meat.
They also declared in March of 2015 that they were committed to sourcing chickens that had not been treated with antibiotics important to human medicine and have made good on that promise. McDonald's know that customers vote with their feet and they want to hold on to their title as one of the biggest fast-food chains worldwide.
Retail giant John Lewis
Well known for their tagline 'never knowingly undersold', John Lewis make it their mission to make every customer experience, the best one, whether that's online line or off. They have dedicated selling coaches in every store to make sure their sales staff are up to scratch on everything they offer. Feedback and customer comments are welcomed to make sure they are continually making their store and online experience truly exceptional.
Everyone who works for John Lewis is a partner of the business, meaning they have a share in all profits and their voices are listened to within the company. John Lewis has taken the approach of including their partners in a personal way, meaning the way they interact with customers and serve them has a certain air of exclusivity. When an employee feels valued, in turn, the customer feels valued. This knock-on effect means customers feel well looked after and choose to come back to John Lewis again and again.
Global resorts, hotels and retailer Disney
The brand where magic is at the heart of its core message. When visiting one of their Disney worlds or Disneylands, it isn't a cheap getaway, but Disney knows that 'all kids want to go to Disneyland' so they have to make sure they live up to that. That's why Disney employees go through rigorous training to meet their guest's expectations and every need.
Guests are referred to by names to make everyone's experience is a personal one. When customers feel like they are the only guest at the hotel, they won't just come back time, and time again, they'll tell ten friends who go on to tell ten other friends who go on to - you get the picture. Essentially, it pays to acknowledge your customer and make them feel like their input matters.
When you listen to your customers, you make them feel like they have a say. It empowers them. They don't feel duped into buying a product. Instead, they feel personally invested in your journey. With the high street taking a beating the past couple of years and online taking its crown for the retail sector, customers are looking for that personal experience more and more. If you want to thrive and be a business that has customers coming back time after time, then the simplest thing you can do is listen.