Have you ever noticed, that as you get older you start getting the same gifts from the same people? I’m talking about the ones closest to you. Family, close friends, that group.
At some point in the past you said, ‘hey I like… whatever it is’ now this could be a type of wine, a fictional character, a type of spirit, clothing, anything really, and now it comes around with the predictability of sunrise. At first it was great, because someone actually listened to you and what you wanted and then delivered. This made you feel special, like finally there was someone in your life that understood, but then they stopped listening.
Instead of continuing to listen to you to find out what you are interested in, what you need, or what you like, most people assume they know best. At this point they fall into the comfortable predictability of saying ‘hey they liked it last year so I know they’ll like it this year.’ Basically they became lazy, and so continues the global cycle of bad gift giving.
Now the question is, how many of you are taking this same approach in your businesses each and everyday? How many of you are actually taking the time to listen to the feedback that comes into your business? Working in marketing you get to spend a great bit of time just speaking with businesses and understanding their process, and it’s crazy to hear that many don’t actually do anything with their feedback. As I mentioned in another post here, many owners and directors don’t actually know what’s being said, so they can’t actually improve.
Now lets look at this realistically, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. are all extremely successful companies but why is the question? Some would say it’s because they are the most innovative businesses of our time. While this may be true to some extent, I would challenge this by asking how do you become innovative?
No matter how you look at it innovation comes when you understand what people want, and deliver it. If you aren’t listening to you customers, your company will never be a leader, fact. Does your company have a feedback system? If not…why, and if so what are you doing with it.
I’ve worked with numerous businesses that have established customer service departments, but they don’t interact with them until there is a complaint. In fact, a well-trained customer service department can actually increase revenue, if you actually pay attention to them.
This really isn’t that difficult, you just need to stop a minute and think about the user experience. Is your customer receiving the best you have to offer? Could you have done more? Can your product or service be better? Have you asked your customer their thoughts, and have you acted on them.
Basically as a business executive you have a very important decision to make. Are you going to be the business that gives fruitcakes year after year? Or, are you going to be the businesses that actually listens to your customers and gives them exactly what they wanted and more? This is the real difference between success and failure in business.