As a mother of three young children, I’m pretty much used to not being listened to, but it shouldn’t be that way when it comes to your customers or clients. In today’s commercialized world of “look at me”, it’s easy to forget that sometimes it is best to sit silent….and listen.
When I talk about listening, I’m not referring to the kind of listening you do when your mother-in-law is talking to you on the phone (“uhuh….yeah…really…oh, that’s too bad”). I’m referring to “active- listening”, or listening with a purpose. You can create and keep a lot of satisfied clients simply by employing this strategy. Your company should be listening to its current and potential clients at every stage of your relationship: inquiry, long term, and at the close of the relationship, and then following through with actions based on what was learned.
When receiving an inquiry call for your product or service, listen to the customer’s story. What is his need or particular issue? You may even need to read between the lines of what is being said to get to the root of why the person is calling. Rather than just opening up with a canned sales speech, respond with how your product or service can provide the solution to the particular issue the person has just described. Providing additional tips and information that the inquirer may not have known but tie in directly with his situation also shows you were listening to his needs.
Listen to your current clients. Send out periodic surveys asking for their feedback. Is your customer service up to par? What about your product or service do they enjoy the most or least? Are there areas they wish could be enhanced? Compile all of this information from your clients and then act on it to make improvements. This is the most tactical way to show your clientele that you care about what they have to say.
Listen at the end of the relationship. After a product has been delivered or a service has come to its conclusion, it is important to check in with the customer for comments. What did your company do right or wrong in their eyes? Did the product or service meet their expectations? Are there other suggestions for improvement?
The next step is to actually act on what you have learned from all of that listening. Like I tell my kids, “Listening is only the half of it. Now you have to do what you’ve been told.” Follow through by adapting your product or service to your client’s best suggestions and comments. It is a great satisfaction for customers to know that their voice is being heard, and that is what your follow-up actions will have demonstrated.
As my mama always said, “A lot can be accomplished by simply listening.”
At corecubed, we’re great listeners. Give us a call for all of your Internet marketing, public relations and design needs and let us listen to your story.