Shut Up and LISTEN!

Shut Up and LISTEN!

This may sound harsh but it’s the only way to get your attention. In this frenzied world to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, buy ad space, do cross marketing, do speaking events, get news coverage….(oh I’m so exhausted already)….most businesses (and nonprofits) are forgetting THE most important element in business: Listening to Your Customers. 

Shut Up and LISTEN!

Forget $30,000 research projects that we get sooooo excited about and end up on a shelf or in a drawer. You know what works? LISTEN to the customers. Your customers. Openly. Not to validate your position, not to validate what you have done or want to do, not so you can get up in front of your team and have a hot-air-filled PowerPoint. Listen because you want to know what your customers like and don’t like about every single touch point, how they were treated, if they were given “remarkable” service so good they will tell others. Average is the price of losing. Remarkable is what wins. 

Shut Up and LISTEN!

What works? Listen through social media and respond immediately—and care. Truly care. When you do that you make a big impression and that person will tell others. Use social media to ask questions—-and listen.

Think you have the best customer service? Everyone claims that. Think you have the best staff? Everyone claims that. Think you have the best service, products or venue? Everyone claims that. It’s now just the price of entry to get into the ballpark.

Shut Up and LISTEN!

When I produced TV newscasts I would sit behind the bus driver and listen to what the riders and driver talked about that day. The stories they were interested in. Everyone else in the newsroom drove their BMW’s to work. Know what? I had the most interesting content with the highest ratings because I worked hard to find out what people were interested in by listening.

Facebook, Twitter and all the rest are worthless if you just “push” your messages. You must ask good questions and then LISTEN. Listen with a heart, not with an agenda. It’s the best research available.

Have a store online or brick and mortar? LISTEN. Listen to what customers are saying about you. Don’t be afraid to ask what they like and don’t like.

  • Facebook is just technology unless you Shut Up and LISTEN!
  • Twitter is just technology unless you Shut Up and LISTEN!
  • LinkedIn is just technology unless you Shut Up and LISTEN!
  • Blogs are just technology unless you Shut Up and LISTEN!
  • Your website is just technology unless you Shut Up and LISTEN!

And if someone in marketing ever says “we don’t have enough staff or time to listen,” fire them, because nothing is more important than the customer experience. 

(c) Joseph Barnes,  Helping businesses stage remarkable customer experiences!

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