If you want to know what your customer is thinking, just ask. If the request is sincere and the questions thoughtful, most will open up to you. After all, if they’re already your customer there had to be something they liked about you, your company or your service in the first place!
There was a time when it was believed “Silence is Golden”. My experience has decidedly proven that is not a true statement. Silence is the calm before the storm. Yet there is no reason to fear preventable storm damage; there is a compelling reason to break the silence and go have that long-overdue conversation with your customer. Don’t approach them with the idea of selling something or renewing the contract; merely go to listen and learn.
When you take the time to clarify and confirm the details of the services you’re performing for your customers, you’ll also learn the unexpected. You’ll learn what they like and what they don’t, what they value and devalue, about the things they care most about, and how often they’d like to hear from you. All of that is great information to have, because the same things that got your firm hired can get you fired.
The type of conversation I’m referring to is in-person, highly focused, professional and respectful of the customer’s time. It isn’t an email or quick phone call; it certainly isn’t a text message asking “how’s it going?” with random emoticons! It’s real and it’s because you care.
Along with the service details, you’ll marvel at the wealth of human information that will come your way. You’ll discover people, places, sports, hobbies and other things you have in common with your customer; you’ll also learn if you don’t share those things, but perhaps share common causes in other aspects of life. One thing’s for sure; this is where the pleasant surprises are hidden. They won’t come find you, however; it’s up to you to make the first move!