Every Person Has a Voice
You may hear what they have to say, but do you really listen? For me, hearing means registering the information but not doing much about it. Listening, on the other hand, means understanding and reacting in a meaningful manner. I realized the power of listening when working with customers. I learned that they always had the answers to the challenges we faced -- all we had to do was to listen. Listening is a fascinating art and, when done correctly, it can deliver tremendous and surprising outcomes.
What does listening to your customers say to them?
That you CARE.
That you are serious about your BUSINESS.
That you are open to CHANGE.
That you understand MARKET TRENDS.
That your customer feels like he's VALUABLE!
What does listening mean for your business?
You gain customer loyalty.
You get more business.
You become successful.
You have more reason to keep working on what you love!
Terry Wildemann has some great information about The Art of Listening in her April newsletter, which is well worth a look.
How and Where Do You Have to Listen
There are many methods of listening to your customer. Surveys are a great way to get started. There are free survey platforms online that you can use to get started. Survey Monkey is easy to use and gives you a great starting point. Stay tuned for a Byte-Syze Learning tutorial on setting up a survey on Survey Monkey later on this week!
Surveys are also a great tool to use in a newsletter or an email to your customers. Not only can they provide you with valuable information about your customer's needs, they also show that you care about their ideas. Try asking your Facebook friends and fans or your Twitter followers what their thoughts are on your products and pay special attention to their comments.
Even if you disagree or have different views, what they are telling you is important and valuable. By listening to them, you will strengthen your relationship. If you have a blog, ask your readers questions and try to actively involve them in your business. Empowered fans who feel they can make a difference are your best ambassadors.
I have used many of these techniques to keep my customers engaged. The more they share, the more you can innovate and differentiate yourself. Here are some great resources that I have collected to master the art of listening:
- Not all Surveys are equal
- Tips to enhance response rates
- Wiki on Customer Loyalty
- Strategize and Plan for Loyalty
Again, stay tuned for a Byte-Syze Learning on setting up Survey Monkey! Also, Meylah considers every individual’s opinion (hence their voice!) to be critical to our success!
Share your voice now! We really mean it :)