Choose not to hear customers at your own peril

October 25th, 2017 in From www.athomewithmark.org

Greek mythology saw Tiresias, famous for clairvoyance, listen in a variety of forms. As an oracle, he would listen for the songs of birds, or through visions or pictures appearing within the smoke.

From mythology to reality, we’re not clairvoyant and we don’t know what our customers want, think and feel. The challenge for us as a sector now is to really understand the difference between listening, and hearing. Listening is part of a discussion with two sides sharing a point of view and no commitment for either to take part. Hearing is a genuine interaction to understand what makes a difference to someone and what their aspirations are.

More than ever, not just listening to customers, but really hearing, is the most important function of any organisation. If we don’t, other employees, customers, potential employees and important stakeholders will. One of the great things about social media means that customer thoughts and feedback are more accessible than ever – and whether they are good and bad, what you do with them is what matters.

Customer engagement is a particularly pressing and topical issue at the moment, with events like Grenfell shining a light on the amount customers feel heard and it’s rightly so at the top of the political agenda, with both Conservative and Labour conferences emphasising the importance of ensuring customer voices are heard. It is vital that we actively listen, ask customers what they want, think and believe, and ultimately act upon it.

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