If you’re in a service business, your customers are the reason you’re in business. Right? You’re out there doing what you do for the people who want it. If you find out what your customers really want is something almost exactly like what you’re offering but slightly different, would you change your service?

When customers buy a service, they want their problems solved. Messy house and no time to clean? They want a cleaning service. But that’s not all. They want cheerful service. On time-service. Service that delivers what was promised. That doesn’t make them feel inadequate for needing or wanting to hire a cleaning service in the first place. They want that service at a fair price. They want to be able to trust the service completely, even if they aren’t home. If you get any of these things wrong, you probably have lost a customer.

The person who hires a cleaning service–or any service–is struggling with a problem they want solved, and is buying into much more than just “a product.” The transaction is much more emotional than logical.

You fail to give customers what they really want when you do one of three things:
1. Treat every customer the same
2. You’re not asking customers what they really want
3. You’re not listening when they tell you

Treating every customer the same…what does that mean? Don’t dumb down your services so you’re reaching the lowest common denominator. Don’t assume that the complaining customer only wants a refund. Maybe he wants an apology, and one that seems sincere at that. Not treating every customer the same means being an authentic human that is relating to that authentic human that is talking with you about their concerns.

Asking customers what they really want can be easy. Use recent subscriptions or purchases as triggers to follow up with an email asking for product reviews, service feedback or survey participation. If you use an automated email for this, offer different ways of receiving replies, including calling you with a direct phone number.
When you get feedback, don’t use a cut-and-paste response.

Find out what your customers really want. Let them know that you got their answers and that you really care. Use that information to enhance their loyalty to you. It might mean slightly changing the formula of your product or service. Maybe even just for that one customer. Because after all, without customers, you have no service.