Are you listening to your clients?
Do you listen to your clients? Do you know and utilise the art of listening? We all believe that we listen to our clients, yet some of us pretend listen.
Here are a few examples of pretend listening:
- Thinking about how you will respond
- Wondering how what is being said will affect your business
- Utilising just your ears to listen
The experts will tell you to listen to what is NOT being said. How does that work you may wonder. What isn’t said is often more important than what is being said. You’ve experienced this before. What isn’t being said defines the context and subtext to what is really meant. To really listen to our clients we need to consciously make it about them, not you.
It’s all about reaching out to your clients. Here are a few examples of how you can get feedback from your clients and work it to your advantage.
This starts from the front-line, your reception. Train your staff to listen well and after your receptionist has a casual one-on-one conversation with your client she can glean what the client values and how the company as a whole can deliver better. This is called active listening.
Email and Web forms
Whatever your clients have to say about your organisation, you will want to hear it, whether it’s good or bad feedback. If you invite your clients to complete a web form ensure that you clearly denote on your website where they need to submit their opinions and how they can get in touch with you.
Thanks to Social media’s reach it’s easier than ever to listen to your client’s concerns, find out what makes them happy and to nib any potential problems in the bud. You can instantly see if a client is happy or sad about something. It’s like having a focus group at your fingertips 24/7.
What about prospective clients? Listening carefully to prospective client allows you to develop a conversation with them which will tell you how they feel about doing business and what their needs are.
From a business perspective active listening allows you to gather strategic and tactical information. The more people talk the more prone they are to divulge. With active listening you are able to access honest information that is so important for business growth and development.
According to experts it takes 21 days to form a habit. So take the time to change your passive listening to active listening and within 21 days you should be reaping the results.