Are You Listening To Your Customers?
Customers Just Want to be Heard
If you have ever had to jump through hoops just to talk to a live customer service agent, or have solicited input from the public on just about any project, you probably understand one fundamental truth of working with the public: people just want to be heard.
If you have ever seen a surviving family member of someone who has died on the six o’clock news and wondered why they would open up like that to a stranger (and thousands of others in the general viewing area), this is why.
Sometimes, people just feel better when their story is heard. In this article, we will talk about why customers should be heard, why it is important to listen (and show that you are listening), and how listening to customers should be an important part of your business practices.
Why Customers Want to be Heard
The answer to the question, “Why do customers want to be heard?” can be understood if you phrase the question a different way. Consider how you would feel as a customer if you weren’t heard. A customer’s feedback is more than just a complaint: it is the customer’s story, a small piece of their life. When you listen to your customers, you are validating their concerns; you are showing that you care what they think.
Why Listening to Customers is Important (Even When You Won’t Give Them What They Want)
Sometimes businesses make decisions that are initially unpopular with some or many of their customers. A large organizational communications piece is being able to communicate to the public the rationale for making such decisions.
For instance, for quality reasons, a small brewer several years ago resisted increasing production on one of their most popular brands. When bar owners and customers complained, management listened, even though they were firm in their decision to expand slowly. In the end, the best they could respond with was, “I’m sorry,” but it still showed customers they were being heard. The brand is now more popular than ever thanks in part to this approach.
Think of just about any business and you can find an instance where this would work. Business decisions are made every day that effect some customers. Listening and responding to those customers’ concerns will show that you care what customers think and can help retain customers, even if they don’t agree with what you are doing.
How Listening (and Responding) to Customers is Good for Business
Even if they don’t get the resolution they want, customers appreciate being heard. If you think about it, all your business’s products or services and especially the customer experience are the result of listening. Most likely, whatever you sell is a solution to a problem, which is a result of someone, somewhere, listening to someone’s problem and devising a better way. Marketing is also the result of listening to your customers: knowing what is important to your customers helps when appealing to them to buy your product or service. And finally, your customer experience is enhanced when you listen to customers. Even if the customer doesn’t get what they want, the idea that someone is listening and responding is more than most people expect today. Almost more important to customers than the quality of your good or service, is the idea that someone cares enough about what they think to listen and respond to them.
Let REPWARN Listen for you…