Step Away from the Megaphone and Listen to Your Customers

One of the greatest questions in the age of the interactive web 2.0 is:

“Given the new technology at my fingertips, how do I use these tools to improve customer experience?”

Certainly, there are enough widgets, applications, social buttons, and the like to allow your customers to interact with your business in many ways. However, some businesses make the mistake of throwing everything and the kitchen sink into a site with the intent of forming one amazing community that no one will ever want to leave.

listen

What could possibly go wrong?

For starters, such an approach is unoriginal and represents a failure to look beneath the surface to determine what a customer actually wants from a site. What you get instead is a Web presence that offers too much while catering to too few.

However, it is easy for me to sit here and say you need to revamp the content on your site to perfectly match what your customers want. Obviously, that’s impossible. Interests and tastes are far too varied to choose the perfect image, text, font or content for everyone.

The truth is that you don’t have to have those things. Businesses are in the habit of overloading their customers (and their sites) with fluff. Fluff can be defined as those things that are important to you, but that your customers care little about.

In addition to being uninteresting, fluff is also static. People are looking for dynamic experiences, and human interactions are about as dynamic as it gets. There is a reason people play on social media all day.

One of the best ways to facilitate interaction is to host a blog to initiate the exchange of ideas and comments. When it comes to blogs, the content is the initial draw, but the conversation is what keeps people coming back. Another woefully underused feature is forums. Sure, many sites have them, but I am amazed at the number of businesses that set them up and then never review them.

Obviously, the integration of these contributes to a strong social presence. If you can listen even better than you can talk, you will have a leg up on 90% of the businesses out there.

That’s the key, really. When everyone has a gigantic megaphone to their mouth, the business with an ear to the ground, paying attention to what their customers have to say, will come out on top.

Stop Talking, Listen Photo via Shutterstock

5 Comments ▼

Curt Finch


Curt Finch Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx. Founded in 1996, Journyx automates payroll, billing and cost accounting while easing management of employee time and expenses, and provides confidence that all resources are utilized correctly and completely.

5 Reactions

  1. It amazes me that some brands still treat social media like their own soapbox. It’s not just about you and your brand anymore! The customers have the right and the means to be heard. When they talk you have to listen.

  2. Great post, Curt. Social media is not meant to be your personal broadcast system to get the word out about every new discount or promo you have running. I use social media as a means to really engage and connect with my audience. That’s what it’s all about. Use social media to build true connections and customer loyalty and they’ll follow you and your brand for a long time to come.

    Thanks for sharing this post with our community. I appreciate it!

    Ti

  3. Curt, good post. Most small businesses think they listen, but really don’t. Making the effort to listen should be part of any marketing plan.

  4. So simple. So practical. So basic we forget to do it. Great article. Thanks, Blair Milliken.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Who influences you? Nominate for the 2014 Small Business Influencer Awards.