Picture of Kimberlie Williams
Written by Kimberlie Williams

There’s a saying that hearing and listening are two different things and that’s especially true when it comes to dealing with customers. There are times when businesses get so focused on their own plans, or think they can predict what their customers can do, that they don’t even include them in the conversation of the products and services being marketed to them.

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Think about it. If you’re trying to sell your product to this person, retain them as a loyal customer, and encourage them to promote your product on their own free will, you need to give them strong incentive. You need to make them feel inspired. Strong listening skills help with this because it allows your company to use customer feedback to improve and make their customer experience the best it can be. Listening helps build trust in your company and loyalty to your business. Building this connection with your customers is at the core of running a long-lasting and successful business.


Listening Can Help Your Company Acquire Customers

Many businesses often study their competitors to improve their growth strategy, but don’t forget that your customers seeking the best customer experience they can have may be studying them as well. When former or potential customers decide to go with another company, ask them if they would be willing to share what made them change their mind.

What do they like more about the other competitor? What there something about your company that didn’t agree with them? Don’t stop there, scan your comment sections for commonalities in their complaints and suggestions about your products and services. This will give your team a clear picture of customer pain points.

Information like this gives your company an idea of where it can be improved to lock the final sale and retain more customers. It all boils down to showing that you willing make changes to keep your customers happy by providing solutions and improvements based on their feedback. Their complaints and suggestions provide a golden opportunity to show that your company cares about its customers beyond treating them like an order number, which is often all customers want to hear.


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Listening Will Help You Retain Customers

It’s also important to not wait for customers to tell you what they want, but to anticipate their needs. Being proactive and not waiting for them to ask for a solution to a problem, or a special discount, or special feature that would make their usage less difficult surprises them and makes them feel catered to. This builds up your company as highly favored in their eyes. They key is look for the explicit in the implicit. 

For example, you could also have your social media team follow your customers and talk to them, even if it’s just to offer helpful advice. While you’re following them, observe your customers’ interests and behaviors outside of your business and marry that with your business approach. Certain personality types are drawn to certain presentations and features and forms of media. If your find your customers tend to be more is reserved and have a preference for sleek presentations, incorporate that into your design and marketing approach. 

All of this will help builds rapport with your customers and people will come to associate that ease of feeling understood with your brand. When customers are constantly being given things they want but never even asked for, they feel like they found a gold mine. It makes them feel attached to the company and inspires customer loyalty. Being proactive and anticipating what the customer wants are the behaviors that have earned companies like Apple cult followings.


Listening Will Help Turn Your Customers into Promoters

Happy customers can be some of your best promoters. Don’t forget that your customers are also sharing happy experiences using your products or interacting with your sales and customer support team. Think of when someone leaves a glowing review of a new app they recently purchased on their social media account. Their followers, who have similar concerns and interest in this app, will definitely be more willing to give this software a try.

Stories like these can often be very relatable for customers and incorporated into advertising and promotions. It also helps business to think more from the customer’s point of view and determine the value of their product and services is. When customers speak about the value of a product or service, pay attention to what they articulate as benefits to them. It could be its quality, its speed, or it could be because it helps them feel one step closer to climbing the corporate ladder. It may be something completely left field, but if you notice it’s something other customers appreciate and expect from your company, then incorporate that into your promotions to attract more customers and build more powerful promoters.

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