Listen and React for Better Customer Relationships
Posted by Trevor on 12 June 2012 | Post a Comment
In the past I addressed the CEO’s need to listen to their customers. To have a successful business requires that those in charge move beyond the boardroom to discover the pros and cons of their enterprise. However, listening is only the first step. CEOs must go further than simply listening to their customers; CEOs must react to what customers communicate to them.
You can begin to make a customer at least a little happy by asking them for their opinion and listening to their feedback, but if you do not respond, you will eventually lose that customer. To achieve a completely happy customer, you must do three things: you have to meet them, listen to them and then react to their response. You do not have to adopt their suggestions, but you have to acknowledge them in some way to assure them that their voice has been heard. The customer is everything, and it is essential to show that their opinion counts.
Different products and diverse customers will elicit varied feedback; therefore, your approach to customers is going to vary as well. For instance, if I owned a grocery store, I would peruse the aisles myself, either talking or just listening to customers. They are your most reliable source. Simple questions such as those that may solicit their opinions of the service, the layout of items and their overall experience at the grocery store will provide beneficial information.
In all my companies I have found ways to get feedback from the end user. I want to know everything because I want to improve on every business aspect possible, to provide the most satisfying experience for the customer. Even with Three Simple Steps®, I elicited feedback from over 300 people before submitting final copy to the publisher.
In my oncology company HIPPA laws make it difficult to speak directly with patients, but it is still possible. In order to allow for anonymity, we use independent researchers to ask the questions I would ask personally if I were allowed to. My company reimburses them for their time, confidentiality is ensured and good responses are received. There are a thousand different ways to learn from your customer, but you have to be willing to make the effort.
With feedback, you will get a mix of positive and negative experiences, and it is up to you to tip the scales towards the positive end while you learn from your customers. A happy customer will return again and again, and your company will in time turn a profit that reflects outstanding customer service.