Do you know what it is your customers need?
Or more to the point what they want?
If you’ve got a steady stream of work you might think you have this pretty well wrapped up, why else would they be coming back right?
But what if you were missing out on opportunities to offer something more and boost your business in the process?
Something made me think today about the value of listening, and asking what your current and potential customers actually want.
Firstly, I made a phone call to Barclays Bank. I don’t enjoy calling banks, especially when they lose my money. I don’t even like to lose a sock so this was definitely not on my cool spectrum.
Tell me if this sound familiar to you:
The first person I spoke to answered the phone mid conversation, laughing with someone else. Without asking my account details, she assured me it was another bank’s fault, and confided it was maybe even my own. One thing she was absolutely certain of was there was definitely nothing she could do. I would have to go to a branch in person with 2 pieces of ID, every security password I’ve ever had and any I’ve ever thought of having, as well as the whereabouts of Lord Lucan.
I hung up and dialled again. The next person without taking any details transferred me to a poor lad in a secret department in a bunker somewhere who sounded quite frightened that I’d been put through.
I hung up and dialled again. The next person, assuming what I wanted transferred me to an automated options machine that transferred me right back again. That was a fun game.
On my final attempt I was met with a quietly spoken young lad who simply asked me the question:
“What can I do for you?”
Not only did he ask me the question, but he did something the previous employees hadn’t done:
He listened to what I wanted.
He wasn’t as slick as the other people on the lines who probably looked productive as they deflected calls at speed, but he was more effective in sorting out my problem.
A Zen state resumed.
Whilst I know this will have no bearing on the way Barclay’s Bank runs their customer service in the it made me think about how we can miss a customer in need, even a current one, by not taking 5 minutes to ask them if the service we’re delivering is what they’re after.
- How do you find the time to ask customers what they think?
- Do you request feedback once a project has finished?
- Do you ask potential customers what they are looking for from your business?
- Could you be missing out because a client wants an extra service they don’t realise you offer?
Content Marketing is all about communication – but it’s a two way street, and the listening part is more important than producing content that reads well. If it’s not serving your customer’s goals then it’s failing your customer and failing your business.
Don’t let my Barclay’s Bank experience be in vain, and let me know in the comments:
“How can I help you?”