What are THEY saying?

Find out what customers say about you: Giving them opportunities to provide honest feedback helps build trust and loyalty

What do your clients say about your company—not to your face but to their friends, acquaintances and connections? If you've done your job well, they should be raving about you and spreading the word about the results you and your team achieve year after year.

The reality, however, is that many customers don't rave. 

What's worse, many companies are clueless about what their customers think of them. For a company that wants to thrive, this is problematic. It doesn't matter if you're a startup, a small but thriving entity or a sprawling enterprise that employs 500 people—your customers are talking. The big question is: Are your customers saying what you want them to? 

To ensure that they are, you have to get feedback. Listening to your customers and getting an accurate gauge of how they assess your performance will set you up with a solid foundation for action. Just because customers like you and your people doesn't mean they like the job you've done for them. 

Since customers have entrusted you. You need to know where you stand with your customers on this spectrum if you want to excel at the things within your control. You can't just leave these matters up to chance.

Some key questions to ask your clients: Why did they choose you, and why do they stay? Is it because your company consistently delivers on its promise? Or are they sticking around because you're convenient and predictable?

It's a shot in the dark, but I'm willing to bet that your company's purpose doesn't include anything about striving to be "middle of the road'. Retaining customers based on their fear of the unknown isn't a winning strategy.

You want true loyalty? Be extraordinary.

You have to do what you say you're going to do—and then some. Over-deliver on the basics—service requests, communication, prompt feedback—all those things. It's amazing how important the little things are to people, especially in this digital age we live in today. If you do this really well, it's something they certainly remember.

Honesty, openness, over-delivering on your commitments—those are the pillars of building trust with customers. Consequently, that's also how you get them to spread the good word. It happens in the smallest of conversations, yet the effect is immeasurable.

When customers start calling you for counsel on things other than what you provide everyday, you know you've done your job. That's when you've moved to loyalty status.