5 Reasons Why Listening to Your Customers Is Important

May 24, 2024 | Blog

In the famous saying, “customer is always right,” where do we draw the line that this isn’t always the case? Many businesses would agree that customers aren’t always right. But the question is not drawing the line but focusing on what the customer is trying to say. After all, what business would thrive if we don’t listen to our customers?

Today, the market is more competitive than ever, which means it’s not just about the products and services anymore—it’s all about the whole package of buyer experience. For businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition, it’s always important to know your niche market and, by that, hear and understand your customers completely. As the leading IT Solution Partner in the Philippines and ASEAN region, IT Group, Inc. (ITG) understands the complexities of listening to customers and clients, whether business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C) transactions. With over 21 years of experience, ITG will share the benefits of why listening to your customers carefully is vital for your business. 

 5 Reasons Why Listening to Your Customers Is Important 

  1. Listen to Understand  

  2. Listen to Review and Reflect 

  3. Listen to Take Actions 

  4. Listen to Predict the Pulse 

  5. Listen to Help Your Customers

Listen to Understand 

Listening to understand your customers is one of the most crucial things when handling a business. To understand one’s customer experience, put yourself in their shoes and what challenges they’ve experienced throughout their journey. When we listen to customers or clients, the first thing that comes to their mind is overall feedback during or after the transactions. So, it’s essential to know what part of the buyer’s journey the client/customer experiences most difficulties. Is it before, during, or after the transactions? For B2C, companies get immediate customer feedback as they are more immersed with the actual end-user of their products and services. Feedback helps you to create your next move to solve the issues, improve your existing processes, and immediately address your customers’ problems.  

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Meanwhile, B2B has a different dynamic. You’re dealing with your clients who have their customers. Their feedback toward your product and services is mainly attributed to whether or not it helps to improve their customer experience, be it directly or indirectly. Michael Levin, Forbes Council Member, wrote in the article story: Customers Have A Lot To Teach Us (Provided We Know How To Listen) and shared that at some point, listening to the customer should be strategic and always have a goal in mind to solve their problems, adding how B2B can learn from B2C experience in terms of listening customers. “Traditional B2C insight and feedback-gathering methods like focus groups, surveys, and interviews can be very effective for B2B solutions pursuing high-value customers,” he said. “With this in mind, a related lesson, though, is that every business and every department, from marketing to product development, must learn from all its customers—not necessarily from every interaction, to be sure, but certainly from every relationship, from the most turnkey to the highest maintenance.”

Listen to Review and Reflect 

The sole purpose of listening to the customers is not only to absorb their issues and solve their problems. Levin concluded that the customer isn’t always right, to some degree. What businesses should be after is analyzing their concerns to review and reflect on how the company can improve their processes. “The customer is not always right. The degrees to which they can be wrong sit along a wide spectrum, from the misapprehension of a product to cultural clashes. Absorbing this reality, even as I have built multiple businesses that place great value on customer relationships, was an important lesson in a career filled with many,” Levin said.  

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In the Harvard Business Review article Understanding Customer Experience by Andre Schwager and Chris Meyer, they further explained that customer experience starts before it even begins interacting with the customers. In modern-day business, it’s all about the whole package, not just the product or services itself.” Customer experience encompasses every aspect of a company’s offering—the quality of customer care, of course, but also advertising, packaging, product and service features, ease of use, and reliability, “they said. “Within product businesses, for example, product development defers to marketing regarding customer experience issues, and both usually focus on features and specifications. Operations concern itself mainly with quality, timeliness, and cost.” For many business leaders, reviewing data and information of our customers is prioritized over the experience. Both are important, yet many companies tend to focus more on the behavior of their customers, which includes data and analytics, rather than raw experience and their overall feedback. By differentiating the customer experience vs customer relationship, your business navigates handling customers’ input, reviewing it analytically and reflecting on it holistically. 

Listen to Take Actions

Whenever we listen to our customers/clients, it’s important to note that the key to keeping them loyal to your business is to take immediate action whenever they have concerns. For B2C with small—to medium-scale businesses, this process is much faster and easier to resolve. However, for enterprise-level companies, you might need to take strategic action and solve problems if and when a customer or client experiences certain challenges. That’s why aftercare, such as customer service, is important to handle concerns, issues, and complaints.

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The good thing about having a department that handles customer relations is that you can have actual data with it. For example, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is software that focuses on managing customer relationships, analyzing data, and giving data-driven insights about your customers’ behavior. Meanwhile, the Customer Experience Management (CEM) system focuses more on the customer/clients’ journey beyond transactions, building trust and brand loyalty in the long haul. Incorporating this in your business review makes taking action more intentional and strategic when applying it to your short and long-term business goals. 

ITG’s technological partner, Oracle NetSuite, offers the #1 Cloud ERP, a comprehensive tool that helps streamline your business operations and optimize your accounting processes. On top of that, Oracle NetSuite has a CRM tool, which is a strategic tool that caters to the whole company’s operations from start to finish, even aftercare relationships, especially in handling customers and clients. Meanwhile, in ITG, we actively listen to our customers and clients by providing them with a dedicated team to address their concerns, depending on their challenges and business needs. If they’re in need of tech support and aftersale care services they’re interested in, ITG can quickly help and assist them through a ticketing system that solely focuses on helping and solving their concerns.  

Listen to Predict Pulse

As we continue to listen to our customers and understand their needs and concerns–whether on holistic or analytical approaches, piece by piece, you’ll see the behavior of your clients. It will help you formulate, analyze, and be proactive for your next move. In the same article, Understanding Customer Experience, they said that clients/customers show patterns over time. With the help of tools like CRM and CEM and customer-related reports like research, case studies, and focused group surveys, it will help your company not only with the past experiences they’ve been to or the present trouble they’re in but you can have a glimpse what you can do to leverage your business in the future as foreseen in their following potential action. It’s like a proactive move to solve further problems and respond with immediate solutions ahead of time.

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Schwager and Meyer further explained that these past, present, and potential patterns can also be referred to by the frequency with which they are measured: persistent, periodic, and pulsed. “Companies can monitor various patterns of interaction with customers to gain a better understanding of the customer experience they are providing,” they said. “Depending on the precise information a company is seeking, it may choose to analyze past patterns, present patterns, potential patterns, or a combination. Each pattern requires a distinct method of generating and analyzing data and will yield different types of insights.”  

Listen to Help Your Customers

The main reason why we need to listen to customers is to help them with their overall customer experience. Businesses must fulfill the offered products and services they paid for. After all, that is something businesses should honor in the first place. Most of the time, conflict happens when the expectations of the customers or clients are not met, and the products they need are below the actual agreed services or quality they look for. 

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Schwager and Meyer further explained why listening to customers will make or break customer satisfaction. “Customer satisfaction is essentially the culmination of a series of customer experiences or, one could say, the net result of the good ones minus the bad ones,” he said. “The customers themselves—that is, the full range and unvarnished reality of their prior experiences, and then the expectations, warm or harsh, those have conjured up—must be monitored and probed. The gap between customer expectations and experience spells the difference between customer delight and something less.” Putting customers first above all else should be a centric way of how each business unit team manages and creates actionable insights from client feedback. It’s like giving them the whole experience of your company, from beginning to end, where everyone is involved in improving the client or buyer’s journey.

ITG believes in this as a Business Technology Expert renowned for co-creating and co-owning business success by delivering transformative solutions that elevate the customer experience. We take care of our clients with a holistic and strategic approach that fits and is tailored to their business needs. We offer services that involve from early planning stages to after-sale support, ensuring positive relationships with our clients by being proactive with their business needs. ITG services mainly include business consulting, support and managed services, subscriptions and licenses, service delivery, certification and training, and even BIR CAS compliance.

Venturing Together For Satisfied Clients and Customers  

IT Group, Inc. has been the leading IT Solution Partner in the Philippines and ASEAN Region, with regional offices located in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, helping 200+ clients across the ASEAN region on their digital transformation journey and has a solid portfolio of 250+ successful projects. We’re an ISO 9001:2015 Certified company, the leading technology partner for system-wide innovative solutions that deliver seamless integrations and processes, from Business Management Solutions, IT Management, Integration & Automation, and Enterprise Data Management to IT Infrastructure.

Also read: IT Group, Inc. Celebrates 20 Years in the IT Industry

For over 21 years, ITG has continuously grown and been successful because of the power of listening and collaboration with our people, business partners, and clients. The key is to co-create and co-own an innovative approach and solution that is made out of venturing together.  In this competitive market, ITG provides innovative solutions to help you achieve your business goals and excellent customer experience through digital transformation. 

Let’s Venture Together to learn more about how we can help you.