How to Listen to Your Customers

Think back to a time when someone didn’t listen to you.

This could be a customer service experience. It could also be an interaction with a friend or family member.

In any case, remember how it was clear they weren’t overly concerned with what you had to say.

How did you feel?

Customers feel the same way when companies don’t listen to them. And they certainly won’t be likely to spend more money with you after such an experience.

Listening, like any skill, takes practice. You’ll make mistakes. Everyone does.

But the fewer mistakes you make, the better.

And to top it off, most customers don’t complain when they don’t feel heard. Just a few do.

The rest simply get angry, don’t buy from you, and then tell their friends, family, and coworkers about their negative experience.

So apply these listening tips so you have the most success as fast as you possibly can:

1. How was your experience?

This is the single best question to ask following a customer’s experience with your company.

Not only is it open-ended, but it’s totally unbiased and does not lead the customer in any one direction.

So, it gives them the best opportunity to give you their 100% honest opinion of your service.

And you can only make accurate business decisions when you have the precise truth to work from.

2. Here’s What the Best Companies Do

One Bain and McKinsey joint report lays out exactly what the best businesses in any industry do when it comes to customer service.

According to an article at Business Insider, they “…listen right at the front line… employees receive evaluations from the people best able to render an appraisal-the customers they serve every day. The employees follow up with willing customers in one-on-one conversations.”

Customer service reps actively listen to their customers.

And then businesses use the data they find to improve their products and processes.

The customers then get a better experience in the future.

3. Use Social Media, The Greatest Listening Tool

Social media is all about building relationships with your customers.

It is not about promoting the heck out of your products and services.

Although that’s a totally valid use for social media, the primary use should really lie in gathering data for improving customer relationships.

Think about all the comments you read on your own personal social media accounts, or those of other businesses.

People are fearless in what they say. You get the pure, unadulterated truth.

Remember how focus groups used to be so expensive to put together?

Well, think of social media as a 24/7/365 focus group. Because that’s what it is.

Listen to what customers say. Take what they have to say to heart. And make improvements to your business based on what you hear.

By the way, software tools can help you do this. Just search “social media listening tools” to identify your options.

Listening isn’t easy. But when you nail it, you unlock massive revenue generation opportunities.

So, do everything you can to listen to your customers.

It’s well worth your effort.