One of my areas of expertise is coaching women for business development; with a big part of that being to help you connect with your customers. As a business owner, you will spend a large proportion of your time trying to get people to buy your service or product. The quickest way to find out what they like/don’t like and how they behave? Talk to them, perhaps, more importantly, listen to them. They are after all your biggest asset. By listening to your customers you can turn your understanding of what they want into meaningful opportunities to connect with them. So how to do that?
Actively seek their opinion
Everyone has needs. Your customers are looking to fill their basic human needs with services or products that will improve their life in some way or another. When we listen to our customers and actively seek their opinion they will tell us exactly what it is they are looking for, when they want it and how much they will pay for it. It’s important to get specific so:
- Ask questions
- Use surveys
- Create polls on Facebook or other social media
- Registration forms
Find out about the competition
We all have choices when buying a product; our customers are no different. They seek options from trusted friends and family. They might turn to the internet for reviews or looking for what people say on social media. Your company’s product or service may be just one of many options. Take the time to look at your competition – what are their customers saying about them? How satisfied are they? Take the time to thoroughly explore what others are saying about your competition. What you hear might provide information critical to helping deliver better solutions.
Have a real conversation
You don’t need a script. All you have to do is to listen and respond appropriately to the things which are important to your customers. Having a real conversation allows you to address any concerns a customer might have that might not be ‘on script’. It’s more authentic. This isn’t about talking B2B, this is about talking H2H – Human to Human – a phrase coined by Bryan Kramer, Founder & CEO of Pure Matter.
5 quick tips to listening to your customers:
- Give your full attention
- Be empathetic to their needs
- Listen with all of your senses
- Use open, reflective questions
- Practice your listening skills
If you want to develop a reputation as a business who provides excellent service, you need to listen to your clients. Listening will allow you to gather data and understand your customers’ thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, it can lead to positive changes in your products & services and new ways of serving your customers. This will allow you to grow as a business, improving your reputation and increasing your customer base. When your products and processes change in response to your clients’ needs, this is a sign that you are truly listening.
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