How well do you know your customers? And what can you do to make them happier?
To create a loyal customer base, you need to take the steps to better understand your customer needs, beyond the sales pitch. Consider ways you can delight your customers with good service, personalization, and pleasant surprises.
In this infographic from customer service helpdesk company HelpScout, you’ll learn about ten research studies that highlight what your customers wish you knew about them.
Check out the key takeaways from the infographic.
How well do you know your customers?
Do you know what they really want from your business and customer service? It’s a tough question to answer. One useful resource that business owners have in answering these questions is research in social psychology. Below are 10 such studies that reveal things your customers wish you knew.
- Customers value “good” service more than “fast” service.
In a recent Gallup study, researchers uncovered that customers are far better at remembering (and telling their friends) about competent, knowledgeable, and “complete” service that they received.
Additionally, customers cited “rude, incompetent, and rushed” service as their #1 reason to abandon a brand, 18 percent more often than “slow” service.
15 minutes in paradise is better 5 minutes in hell.
- Customers love personalization, they will gladly pay more for it.
In a study from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers were able to increase the average tips that waiters received by over 23 percent (without changing service quality.)
They accomplished this by having waiters follow up with a second set of mints after they brought customers their check (waiters that brought mints but didn’t follow up received an average of seven percent less for their tips).
- Customers will remember you if you can remember their name.
Speaking of personalization, according to recent research examining brain activation, few sounds are as pleasant as hearing our own names.
Fact is, people are more attentive (and interested) when they hear their names; be sure your small business takes advantage of getting to know your customers by using their names when appropriate.
Nothing makes me feel loved quite like a post-purchase email from “Do not reply”
- There are few things customers talk about more than a pleasant surprise.
One of the most lasting (and talked about) customer experiences is a pleasant surprise; reciprocity (especially when it’s unexpected) is a very powerful force.
Zappos recognizes this; without so much as a single mention on their sales page, Zappos regularly upgrades customers to priority shipping free of charge, just to brighten their day.
- Goodwill with customers doesn’t need to be “bought” with huge expenses
The concept of “Frugal WOWs” is important to small businesses; creating goodwill with customers has proven to be more about the act, rather than the cost.
Nate Ru, founder of Sweetgreen restaurants, regularly has his employees leave small gift cards next to cars with parking tickets to create a memorable brand based on random acts of kindness.
Business has grown 300 percent year-over-year since the inception of Sweetgreen’s “Random Acts of Kindness”
- Customers will stick with your loyalty programs if you get them started
Consumer psychologists Dreze & Nunes were able to reveal just what makes a loyalty program “stick” across all industries in their now infamous car-wash study.
The researchers were able to show that customers are TWICE as likely to stay with loyalty programs if the programs appear to already by started; tasks that seem to be under way are much more likely to be completed.
- Customers love brand stories and selling through stories is effective
Research lead by Melanie Green & Timothy Brock reveals that a well told story is one of the most persuasive forms of writing (or speaking) available.
They concluded that this was because stories have the ability to “transport” us to another place, allowing brands to leave powerful (and lasting) messages to customers.
When it comes to storytelling, transportation leads to persuasion.
- If you’re struggling to innovate, your customers are a great resource
MIT’s Eric von Hippel conducted a study with the Institute of Management Sciences on the relationship of “lead users” (superstar customers) and company innovation.
Through a study of 1,193 commercially successful innovations across nine industries, Hippel discovered that 60 percent came from customers.
- Selling “time” over money helps customers see the value your brand provides
There’s a reason that inexpensive beer companies promote having a good time (i.e., “It’s Miller Time!”) rather than their low prices.
New research from Stanford reveals that customers have more favorable feelings towards brands they associate “time well spent” with; memories of good times were more powerful than memories of great savings.
Most people see time spent as a better indicator of who they are vs. money spent on what they own.
- If you bring up money, it makes customers more self-centered
Research by psychologist Kathleen Vohs has shown that when people are “primed” with images of money, they become more self-interested and less willing to help others.
This reaction can be used by businesses that sell luxury items, but could backfire with promotions that are associated with doing things for others (ex: Mother’s Day Gifts).