In today’s consumer market, your firm’s service quality might be more important than traditional competitive considerations like cost and advertising. With the multitude of purchasing options available, good customer service can give your business the competitive edge it needs.
This makes customer perception of service matter more now than ever.
But what exactly is it?
Whether you know it or not, customers already have a perception of your business. The only question is whether it’s working to your benefit.
By becoming aware of what customers think about your brand, you can improve their perception, gain their trust, and secure their business.
What Is Customer Perception and Why Is It Important?
Customer perception refers to the consumer’s feelings and thoughts about your brand. It also pertains to their opinion of your products or business as a whole.
Perception is vital in understanding consumer behavior. What your consumers perceive ultimately drives their actions, even if those perceptions aren’t true. This means no matter how great your company is, it’s still possible for them to have a negative perception of your business.
Customer perception can affect everything about your brand—from buying decisions to advocacy efforts.
When your customers develop a positive perception, they are far more likely to buy from you and become loyal to your brand. More sales mean better bottom-line growth.
However, customer perception isn’t necessarily the same as customer perception of service. For example, consumers may believe that you have a good product but poor service. What’s more, how they perceive your service affects their brand satisfaction.
Often, excellent customer service can fix even a bad product experience. Doing what you can to remedy the situation without delay can completely turn around their perception.
Which Factors Influence Customer Perception of Service?
Every interaction customers have with your organization affects their perception of your service. However, focusing on these key areas can ensure they form a positive view.
How you offer support to customers says a lot about what you think about them. Do you have readily accessible product guides? Can they reach someone right away, or are they stuck on hold? Do you offer email and chat support options? If you have great support quality, it tells them that you care and are willing to invest in their customer experience.
The majority of customers today consult online reviews before purchasing a product. That said, customer reviews hold much influence over prospective buyers and can define customer perception of service. Feedback about poor customer service can make a negative impression.
Every interaction with your brand throughout the purchasing process influences customer perception, including service quality. Many consumers today expect amazing customer experiences that are worth sharing on social media. However, if their expectations are not met, it is just as sure to leave a lasting impression.
What Are the 3 Stages of Perception?
When consumers create a perception of something, they go through three stages: Exposure, Attention, and Comprehension. Understanding their roles helps you strategize in order to create a positive perception.
Exposure is the stage when consumers see a product or acquire information about it. It’s when consumers deliberately or accidentally come into contact with your brand. Take note that they may choose to ignore your product even after they’ve been exposed to it.
In the attention stage, consumers have actively noticed your product and may decide to take actions like clicking on an ad or page link. At this point, they are choosing to engage, but their mind is not made up.
Finally, comprehension is when consumers interpret what they’ve come into contact with and assign meaning to it. For instance, consumers may form a positive impression of your company if they find all the information they need about your product on your webpage.
How Do You Build Customer Perception?
After knowing why customer perception of service is important, it’s time to look at different ways to improve it.
Enhancing customer perception is difficult if you don’t know what customers think about your brand. By getting their feedback, you’ll know how they feel about your company.
Questionnaires or surveys are a vital source of feedback, but getting customers to submit them can be challenging. Partnering with a call center can improve your response rate and lets you reach out to customers with a personal touch. With professional services, you can access survey tools that can successfully obtain crucial information from your customers.
Following up with customers after every interaction can motivate them to return to your business and increase their loyalty. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. Both provide a valuable service to your customers and can increase sales volume.
Call centers connect you to professionals who have mastered effective selling techniques. They can maximize the potential of every phone call. By interacting with experienced and skilled agents, consumers can develop a positive customer perception of service that may lead them to buy or upgrade your product.
Build Emotional Connections
Creating emotional bonds with customers helps shape their positive perception of your company. This is because consumers now prefer responsive brands that come across like friends. In short, they want someone who listens and responds.
If you don’t have the workforce to serve personalized experiences to each customer, consider utilizing call center services and technologies. By doing so, you can improve your customer perception of service because you demonstrate your interest in forming solid, lasting relationships.