Our ears pick up sound all day long. Colleagues typing on keyboards, using the printer, and filling their coffee cups to the brim. We tend not to listen to these everyday sounds and continue working in our own little bubble.
So, what about what our peers, managers, and customers have to say? Do we continue this habit when it comes to them, too?
In business, listening is one of the most important skills that you can have, especially if you take care of a team or have a customer-facing role.
Your customers are the source of revenue for your business, and paying attention to them can be the difference between them closing the deal as happy new customers or walking away. Your business can’t operate without customers, and you’ll find quickly enough that you won’t have any customers if you don’t listen to what they need.
Similarly, your team are your internal customers and should be treated with the same respect – sometimes we just need a reminder of why this is so.
“Just like the rest of the company has customers, the learning organization has a client base too, it’s called the employees, and their managers. Learning organizations have to be more service minded.”
Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst at Brandon Hall Group
Why you Should Listen to Your Customers
Conversations during the selling process must go two ways – you want your potential or existing customers to listen to you as you fill them in on all the ways your product or service will benefit them, but you need to give them your ear too!
Your customers are human too and have the desire to be heard and understood – and, frankly, it’s in your best interest to do so.
If you’re still unsure of the benefits, here are a few reasons to stop talking and start listening;
Your Customers Know What They Want
No matter the amount of market research you do, you can never be 100% certain that you know what a customer wants unless you listen to their pain points.
Your assumptions on features, price range, and even the product they are looking for could be completely wrong. Play it safe – listen to what your customer is asking for.
With 59 percent of customers saying that personalization affects their buying decisions, you’d be crazy not to leverage the information they give you so you can offer the best product for their needs.
This process should be ongoing as you grow the relationship and adapt as their needs change, ultimately increasing customer loyalty and revenue.
You’re Not The Only One with Valuable Insights
You might think your product or service, selling process, and customer service is top notch, but it can look completely different in your buyers’ eyes.
Asking for customer feedback through customer reviews and your CRM software can help you reshape your offering, the way you sell, and your customer service strategies to ultimately improve the customer experience.
It is likely that the feedback they give you will help you not only keep their business, but attract new customers as well.
The Customer is Always Right
It can be easy to forget that, while customers are looking to you for a product or service, they still hold all of the power in the buying situation.
Listening is difficult to fake. Your customers know when you are paying attention and they will be the first to notice when you’re not.
‘The customer is always right’ is an ideology that shouldn’t be forgotten – your prospects have money to spend but also have the prerogative to work with your competitor instead of you.
It’s Not Me, It’s You…
Don’t underestimate your competition – potential and existing customers can easily make their way over to another website instead of engaging in and buying your product or service.
In a world where customers are surrounded by options, really listening to their needs can make all the difference. If you show them you value their insights and adjust accordingly, they are more likely to do business with you.
There are an abundance of customer-centric software solutions that can help you remind your customers why they should buy from you. When they feel this sense of comfort, they are more likely to stick around and become a loyal customer.
The Benefits of Listening for Your Business
Improve customer retention
When you really get to know your customers, you can adjust your selling and communication style to match how they like to be approached, and as a result increase the likelihood that they continue to work with you.
With a 60 percent chance that customers will make at least one more purchase after they’ve already bought something from you, there’s still some room for improvement. The only way to create this relationship of trust and understanding is by taking the time to listen.
Make Upselling Easier
People like being listened to, it fosters a sense of empathy and belonging.
When customers feel appreciated, they create a connection to you and trust in the solution that you are presenting them with.
Upselling is an important part of any business and, unless you want to come across as a grouchy salesperson trying to make a quick buck, you need to listen to your customers’ problems and suggest features that will actually benefit them.
Create Brand Ambassadors
People talk, and if you listen to your customers and provide a positive experience, they will likely tell their friends, family, and colleagues about it.
According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any type of advertisement they might see for a product or service.
Whether it be face-to-face or through their social media accounts, customers who feel listened to and enjoy working with your brand will become free marketing tools.
Listen to improve
If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this: listening to your customers will make your business more successful.
When you take the time to pay attention to your customers, you learn what they want, how your offering can benefit them, and how to sell to them. In turn, they get hooked on this wonderful customer experience and keep coming back for more.
Don’t just take our word for it, see what our customers say about us! Learn more about how you can contribute to our ideas portal and check out the Docebo page on the G2 Crowd site!