Business Insight – Understand Your Customer

A post by customer service expert Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling business author who works with companies who want to develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.

Understand Your Customer

A good word for this one is communication. This may be the cornerstone to creating Moments of Magic. You must understand what your clients want and expect of you. This sounds pretty simple and basic, but it is an easy one to blow. And, if you do, you not only fall short of your clients’ expectations, but you tend to make mistakes, misunderstand their goals, etc.

Are you ready for the secret to understanding what your customers want and expect?

Ask them!

But, then you must take it one step further. Once you hear them, ask more questions. That is the key. Sometimes people say one
thing and mean something completely different. Or, you think they mean something completely different.

My favorite example comes from something that happened to my wife and me. My wife and I miscommunicate all of the time. She says one thing and I think she is saying something completely different. Now I have learned about how she thinks. Almost every night I walk into the kitchen and she says, “Honey, the trash is full.” I look over and guess what? She is right. The trash is not only full, it is over flowing with trash. So what is she really saying? Is she making a statement of fact? Or is she looking for a trash man? I think she is looking for a trash man. So why doesn’t she simply say, “Honey, please take out the trash!” It is just the way she communicates.

Our customers communicate the same way with us. I could send you ten year’s worth of emails just on this subject, but I won’t. Just remember this. If we don’t take the time to listen, ask questions and totally understand our clients, we are going to misconnect or make a mistake – have a Moment of Misery! So, spend extra time thinking about this one. As I mentioned before, it is probably the more important messages that I’ve sent you.

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