“What a nice conversation we had! A very good start to the week. I’m glad they chose this method. Thank you!”. This was the comment of the CFO of a large company at the end of our interview. The topic of the interview was future prospects and needs and how our client, a service provider company X, could best support its current customer in facing future challenges.
The CFO I interviewed felt heard and like he was able to voice his ideas clearly in a natural conversational setting. I would argue that of all the current customer research methods, interviews are by far the best and most effective tool for not only collecting data, but also for developing and caring for important customer relationships. After all, an interview is never just about collecting data, it is also a way of engaging in dialogue with your customer and nurturing the customer relationship. According to our experience, customer care is always present in the interview, regardless of country, continent, language, or culture. Giving time to the customer in the form of a professional interview is a luxury in this age of self-service, chatbots, and questionnaires.
Interviews as a development tool
Interviews are a simple but highly effective tool for nurturing customer relationships. It is always individual, personal, and flexible, and allows you to focus on what is most important to that particular customer. An interviewer from outside your organization creates a neutral ground where your customer can easily express both criticism and praise. The interviews make customer care natural and ongoing, because when I come back later to interview the CFO for a follow-up interview, I can go back to our previous encounter. “How are things now? Have you noticed any change regarding the issue you mentioned last time?”
Listening to your customer will give you the tools to develop your services in the right direction and to provide the right services that best contribute to the success of your customer – now and in the future. Your current customers know your business, its products, and services. They have first-hand, tangible experience of working with you. And they are also usually very keen to develop your products and services, because developing your service benefits them too. So why not involve your existing customers in the development of your products, services, and customer care? By doing so, you will nurture and strengthen the relationship with your customers and ensure that they continue to be your customers.
How does your company look after your existing customers? Do you know your customers and understand what is important to them in your service? Do you know what their future plans are and what role your company could play in them?
We can help you by offering customer care through listening which will ensure that they will remain your customers, also in the future. Contact us and we will tailor a care model for your current customers that fits your organizational needs.