Why do customers do the things they do? What makes them satisfied or dissatisfied with your service? What makes them happy or irritated and angry? What do customers really want in a service transaction?
The answers to these questions have been researched by Psychologists for many years and as a professional service giver, your success and that of your customer service teams depends on managing situations with customers properly and positively.
Here are 10 basic needs that motivate customers and make them do the things they do. For customer service managers, it is vital to understand these, to deliver consistently excellent service. In the current climate of uncertainty, really grasping these needs and responding to them positively and professionally will mean your organisation will stand out in the service you provide.
Customers need to feel they are in control of a situation. They need to feel they can influence things to get what they want and need. It is important that they feel they are not being taken advantage of, manipulated, or deceived.
Customers need to feel that whatever they and you are doing is moving them towards their goals. Understanding clearly what the customers’ goals are and what they are in pursuit of will help your agents to collaborate with them to find the best outcomes.
Customers like to feel good about themselves as they go about their daily lives. They like to interact with those people who help them maintain a positive image of themselves, make them feel important rather than make them feel foolish or unimportant. Approval, appreciation and recognition are important to making customers feel good, which means prompt service and giving full attention to the customer will stand you in good stead.
A very strong driver for most customers is a sense of fairness. They like to be sure in any service situation that they are being treated fairly and appropriately when compared to others.
Customers what to feel good about those who they interact with. They want to trust them and have confidence in them. They like service-givers to be friendly and warm so they as customers can enjoy a pleasant service transaction.
- Technical competence
Customers value the technical competence of those providing service to them. They want to be assured that you know what you are doing and can complete any task professionally and properly.
Customers always want to know what is happening and why, so they can understand what is going on around them and feel comfortable in the situation. In service giving situations, customers are likely to become frustrated and angry if they are not able to get the information they want quickly and easily. They prefer situations where things are explained clearly and concisely so that they are clear on their options.
Customers must of course feel safe and secure. They generally like familiarity and predictability which is one reason why they often hesitate to change service or products. It is very serious for customers if they feel their safety or security is at risk.
Customers like to identify with organisations. They enjoy being identified as people who belong in a group. When in a service situation, customers enjoy feeling proud of their association with the organisations that they are customers of. Recognising regular customers, rewarding loyalty, communicating with customer groups and making them feel included helps to meet this need for belonging.
Customers must feel that the service-giver that they are dealing with is honest and that the organisation is genuine and trustworthy too. Building trust and demonstrating this honesty is a critical foundation of good service.
These 10 needs apply to most people. To really excel at customer service, agents and teams need to identify the needs by asking great questions, listening carefully to what customers are telling them and observing their responses and reactions. This is the key to really meeting the individual and particular needs of customers and delivering professional customer-focused service, which in turn will drastically improve customer service scores and overall performance.
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