Really Listening to Your Customers

- February 15, 2012

Action Wednesday/Process

Hello again, Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing, where business takes shape.  Today is Action Wednesday.  I’m going to share a little trick of the trade that is very effective when I deal directly with my clients and prepare my deliverables, my product if you will.

 Today’s topic is “Really Listening to Your Customers.”

We’re going to talk about small audio tape recorders, which are very cheap these days, and one of the best tools I use in business dealing with my customers.

Why use a tape recorder?  When I deal with my customers I often forget many things that they tell me.  It’s not my intent to do so, but I do.  So, between having bad recall and not taking good notes, even when I am trying to capture everything that my client is requesting from me, I sometimes fall short.

If you have experienced a similar challenge, consider implementing the use of a recording device.

Another challenge I encounter is occasionally responding to the client’s needs and providing solutions rather than really listening to their request.  When I return from the meeting I find that I have done more talking than my customer and that’s not good.  Using a tape recorder allows you to sit back and listen to what your customer is requesting from you.

There are so many digital tape recorders and audio recording devices available. Mine happens to be a Sony product.  However, smart phones have recording capability, and, with software like OneNote, your laptop can record meetings if it has a microphone.

Another feature that is exciting about a lot of these tools is that some come with software which will convert the audio file to text.  Then you can drop it into a report or any document you are working with.

When you would like to record your client, always ask permission, whether face to face or on the telephone.   Let your customer know that you would like to devote your attention to listening to their needs and will transcribe the notes from the meeting later. 

Then you just listen.  When they’re telling you what services or products they are looking for you can listen to what they are saying, knowing that it is being recorded on the tape recorder.

A key action is, once your record it, you go back to your office and listen to it.  What you will find are some great nuggets and gems in there that you never realized your customer even asked of you.  So, by hearing the conversation again you can prepare a deliverable for your client based on their wants and needs.  You are going to find that this is a great tool for interacting with your customers. 

You will also find out if you’ve been listening or you’ve been chatting.  If the conversation is a little one-sided coming from your direction it will be a great tool to help you become a more effective listener.

That’s our Action Wednesday for today, simple but really a very good tool for meeting the needs of your customer.  I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing, where business takes shape and we’ll see you next time.

James Glover: (505) 501-1330 or onceadaymarketing@gmail.com