As there are may types of customers, there are as many ways companies and businesses choose to communicate with them. How and when you talk with your customers depends on your disposition towards them and shows up in your bottom line results.
When you’re well disposed and in listening mode, your customers will respond to your stance accordingly. If your focus is to provide value to them at every touch point, when you choose customers over what is convenient to you, then you will probably hear some positive comments and some suggestions to do better. You will hear them because your are listening. And that content will fuel your marketing intelligence for future action.
Some things you might learn during those conversations:
1. There are better processes you can put in place to deliver what your customers want in a differentiated manner during your sales cycle. Your personalization efforts are relevant and timed well.
2. Mary, Bob and Sue had good suggestions during the qualitative research. You also integrated that with quantitative data and are now going to save a bundle on that new product while delivering greater convenience to them. You take the opportunity to delight those customers with the news.
3. While you were selling the item for one use, you uncovered a completely new market thanks to an ingenious engineer who wanted to help his wife. Maybe you ask the engineer to be a testimonial for the new product extension.
This is all learning you incorporate in your marketing activities, refining them over time and getting an increasingly higher number of hits thanks also to referrals and word of mouth.
If instead you think that customers really do not know what they want, that you know better. When you ignore their requests and comments, all you hear are customer complaints. Sure you’d probably like to have the occasional testimonial to share with other customers, but your communication remains one way. That content is not fueling your marketing activities and you are back to square one every time.
Your marketing may look like this:
1. You spend most of your time focusing on the technology that underlies your product production. This does not depend on your customer’s buying cycle, because you are not taking their feedback into account. This is something that internally focused companies tend to do.
2. Since the intelligence you have on customers is that coming to you through complaints, you go and try to sell harder, sometimes cutting corners to grab market share.
It’s hard to stay profitable when your communication style is the second one. The only thing that will get tested here may be your customers’ patience.
Take a look at your communication style, and you’ll know what you think about your customers. Have you been on the receiving end of one or both styles?
Valeria Maltoni • Conversation Agent • Philadelphia, PA • www.conversationagent.com