Customer perception: What it is, and 5 ways to improve it
Let’s start with a definition. In short, customer perception is the customer’s opinion of your product or service – and your business as a whole. It’s a way of distilling down how people feel about your brand.
Clearly, it’s something you want to be not just aware of, but ahead of. If you can monitor customer perception, you are able to address issues which are causing problems for customers, and in so doing improve their overall experience.
In this article, we’re going to look at key ways you can do this. We will cover:
- Making an emotional connection
- Keeping positive
- Being consistent
- Using feedback
- Making sure you follow up
- Growing your business with Business Incorporation Zone
Making an emotional connection
What we’re talking about here is emotion. If you can understand on a deep level what your customers are feeling, you’re on the right track. This can be done through content, ensuring that your customers hear regularly from you with useful content that genuinely helps them and addresses their needs.
This over time builds a relationship of trust and loyalty. Listening to customer feedback (and eliciting it) and trying to read between the lines of what is not being said, is the best way to understand their emotional state. Once you have that established, you can address it in how you structure your customer journey and how you interact with customers on your various platforms.
Just putting on a happy face, being positive, can work wonders for your brand. The voice or face or written word that the customer experiences will play a key role in how they perceive you and your company. If you are radiating positivity (or in difficult situations a strong desire to fix the problem without resorting to negativity) you will build a much stronger bond with your customer.
There have even been studies which suggest that trying to suppress emotions leads to worse outcomes with customers.
Think of any experience you have – even in the supermarket – when the people who work there that you interact with are upbeat and positive. You leave with a much stronger, good impression – or perception – of that business as a whole.
This is about creating a consistent customer experience throughout every stage the customer goes through with your business. So for the customer, the sales experience feels like the customer support experience. The content you produce, the feel of your website, the people your customers interact with at every stage of their journey – it feels like it’s from the same company.
To get this kind of harmony, you need to create some key values which then underpin your entire business. You might create a set of rules or a quote or overall principle, something easy that everyone from the CEO to the interns can internalise and use in their work.
Feedback is the tool you use to see how your customer perception is currently ranking. Both good and bad, it can be incredibly useful and enable you to make adjustments as you go along.
You may get it through surveys or decide to hold actual focus groups. Either way, when customers feel they’re being listened to, you’re in a strong position. Be careful, though, that when it comes to feedback, you often only hear from those at the more extreme ends – ie, someone who loves or someone who hates their experience with you company. With that in mind, you might incentivise people to give feedback at times they might not normally do so. In those cases, you may receive more nuanced feedback which you can use in understanding customer perception.
Making sure you follow up
Following up is of huge benefit to your company in boosting customer perception. It gives you a chance to reach out and find out how their experience was, how they’re doing with your product or service and get ahead of any problems that might prevent them from returning to your business.
You also then have the chance, if the feedback is positive, to up-sell or cross-sell.
Since most customers give up on a business after one negative experience, if you hear poor feedback early, you’re able to do something about it. You won’t win every time, but by continuing to keep that line of communication open, you may be able to turn a negative into a positive
Growing your business with Business Incorporation Zone
Are you looking to expand your business? Move into new markets? Win new customers? Then you’ll
need a supportive partner by your side – one that can help with every step of your business journey. With years of experience helping businesses flourish through startup and beyond, Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) is that partner.
We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
As well as handling trade license applications, BIZ can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.
We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits, and visa applications required to trade in the UAE.
In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.