Benchmark Business Group

Plug Into Your Customers

August 2, 2010

"To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity."- Douglas Adams

Your customer is your businesses' lifeline to success, and through meeting the needs of your customers, you will be meeting the needs of your business.  Discover and learn everything you can about what fulfills your customers:  their desires, needs, expectations and goals. Learning and discovering all you can about fulfilling the needs of your customers is accomplished through sincere, well thought out questions; then listening with an open, caring and non-judgmental point of view.

Questions can be asked without the questioner learning anything - the key is in asking the right questions, then listening with sincerity!  If conversations with your customers become rote methods of steering your customers to a predetermined destination, you have lost the most powerful relationship tool available to you.   A well crafted question is an elegant entrée into a high impact conversation...IF

  • you really care about the answer
  • you show sincere and genuine interest
  • you're willing to let go of what you think the answer should be
  • you're open to exploring conversations outside your customers comfort zone
  • you don't think you already know the answer
  • you listen to learn and remember what you learn.

The questions and conversations you employ should always be about your customers - always about your customers first.  Your products, your services, your interests, your accomplishments will not mean anything to your customers until they feel you care about them first.  When your customers feel that you know and understand them, they will connect with you and be open to hearing what you have to offer. 

As you work with your customers and listen for what is meaningful to them, you will understand how to design your client fulfillment systems-and your business' relationship with your customers-to meet their needs.

Ask, listen and learn...

  • what your customers appreciate about your business, and your products/services.
  • what motivates them to be your customer.
  • what they need and expect..
  • what they want to experience.
  • what they don't want to experience. 

Use what you learn about your customer's desires and expectations to innovate your client fulfillment systems to better meet their needs. Remember what you learn and leverage your customer's words to connect them back to their needs, desires, and goals as often as possible, letting them know that you know them.  This method of affirming your customer is not a trick or a cute sales tool; this is a serious commitment to caring about and honoring your customer's needs.  KNOW them and provide them the care and service that meets their needs, and they will be your customers for life. 

Be sincere, ask, learn, discover, remember - put what you learn it into action!

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