Having recently been on the wrong end of a less-than-helpful experience dealing with a professional in another field, it made me think about the traps we can all fall into when dealing with our clients and customers.
Keeping our eyes on the ball
We all have our particular areas of expertise. We have worked hard to know what we do and to be in able to provide the service our customers look for. Sometimes it may be that their expectation is not met, even though we think we have done what we were asked. There is sometimes a difference between giving people what we understood they asked for and what they were expecting in terms of a customer experience. There may be a danger that they will pay us what we asked because they cannot deny we delivered something. That something may not quite be what they were expecting and they will not come to us again when they have a need. Did we play the ball they bowled or some other ball we saw in our mind’s eye?
I may have been guilty in my long-gone corporate days. Did we deliver what the client wanted of our team or was I too eager to sell what we had which appeared to fit their need?. Did I ask if they were happy? Was I so arrogant as to assume that they were without asking?
Listen before, and listen afterwards
More than ever, and even if we are running a successful business in this difficult market, we need to listen to our customer. Do we understand what they want? Can we deliver it? After we have done what we thought they asked for, have we asked them if they are happy. Do they need an extra tweak to what they have bought from us? Is it what they wanted?
Many Happy Returns
It is only by listening to our customers from start to finish that we can be sure they are happy and will come back to us. With any luck they will give us an unsolicited testimonial, and they are the best sort. What do you think?