When it comes to listening, no one understands its importance better than department store mogul J.C. Penney. He said: “The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success”.
When you take the listening route, the path to success is simple, fast, and uncomplicated: listen carefully, communicate clearly, and succeed.
Is this why a lot of businesses fail? Because they failed to listen?
Sadly, the answer is “yes” because a lot of companies assume that they are the experts and the product/service they provide is the solution the customer is looking for. Therefore, they end up talking more and listening less, which often leads to misunderstanding.
If you misunderstand your customer during any phase of the sales cycle, you will fail to deliver the right solution to their pain point. Consequently, you will fail at making your customer feel special, so they will find another company that will give them what they are looking for.
The Right Customer Care: Listen
Listening works wonders for everyone, more so in the world of business. When customers see that their opinions matter to you, they will begin to trust you. Consequently, trust makes customers more attentive to you as well. You guessed it, this is a virtuous circle.
In the world of B2B and B2C, listening goes beyond the act of sitting down with your customer and hearing them out. It is not just about replying to the questions of your customers or visitors. It includes metrics, analytics, and actions. It includes all the data related to the interactions you have with your customers, from all your social networking accounts.
For example, you have been receiving excellent feedback for excellent consumer care and consumer satisfaction. However, there are also other customers who express their disappointment and frustration. The complaints might be small compared to the excellent feedback, but if left unattended for a long time, they can get overblown. We know that a bigger problem is much more difficult to solve than a smaller one.
Mastering the Art (And Science) of Listening
Just like everything in life has a right and wrong side, there is a right and wrong way to listen. Listening the wrong way can have as severe consequences as not listening at all.
Wondering how to listen to your customers the right way? Here’s how:
- Listen consistently.
Consistently means you do it often, on a regular basis. You should also have the right communication tools, and a team whose primary job description is making customers feel special by listening to their suggestions, feedback, problems, and even criticisms.
- Understand what your customers are saying.
Listening is understanding, not just hearing. Learn to read between the lines and look for the deeper meaning of what your customers are saying.
- Invest in technology wisely.
You can find a lot of technology that will help you improve your customer care and your customer satisfaction rate. However, not everything on the market is the ideal solution for you. Clue: A great tool should meet two criteria: it should be easy to use for your team and provide essential data to help you understand your customers.
Listening and hearing are different. Listening is active, a skill that requires constant practice. When you listen, you are able to bring the right solution to your customers. Through that, they will see you as a partner whom they can build a relationship.
So, if you want to inspire customers to stay loyal to your brand, ask yourself: how do I listen today?