'Please redesign my website, I don't think you understand what I need'
'Your services are not up to mark'
Have you ever been delivered such earth-shattering feedback from your customers? If yes, there is a problem. You have not been listening to your customers....enough. Instead of pointing the finger right back at them, as good business people, we need to look a little deeper. Have we been listening to our customers, what they are trying to tell us? Or have we been marketing our products and services to them without fully understanding what it is that they need from us. If we have not been interacting with our customers, then we are not building a relationship with them. We have been trying to push our products and services down their throats.
Just imagine walking into a store to have the sales person telling you that they have the best television in the world when you are looking for a microwave oven. That is what is happening if we don't listen to what the customers have to say. We need to be like an open highway, two ways and not one way. When we open up the communication lines, we are in a better position to provide quality service to them. So, we need to respect our customers and stop blatantly selling and marketing to them.
Ask a marketing expert you will soon see the logic behind consumer' purchasing behavior. They buy into a brand, they buy loyalty, they buy good feelings. They want solutions that can help them, not enrich you. As a business person, we are in the position to listen out for the problem and then help them solve it.
Another example would be for a web designer to come up with the most incredibly stunning website that he or she thinks will totally knock the customer off his socks only to be told that it is not what the customer wanted. At this point, despite having put in 110% of his effort to impress the customer, it is a failed project. The web designer's job is to understand his customer's customers...the very people who will be visiting the website. The job of the web designer entails delving into the customer's industry, have a few reads about what makes the end-users (customer's customers) tick and then deliver that. The website could be the most awesome thing, the coolest website in the world but if it cannot help the web designer's customer reel in the money, it is not practical.
One does not need to be a rocket scientist in order to understand one's customer. All you need to do is to open the lines of communication, be ready to listen attentively to them, observe their tone of their voices and body language. Even in the face of criticism, always keep the line open to them and fight the urge to defend yourself. You have all the time in the world to explain your side of the story once they have it off their chest.
Remember those times a few decades ago when business people often send out survey forms to their customers for feedback? Yes, that's exactly what we need to do. In today's modern world, a survey is a mere click away! One click and the survey is out to as many customers as you can fathom.
With the internet, our lives are so much easier now, especially with the world consistently changing.
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