Listening to Customers isn’t just for Call Center Agents

To become an innovative manager, you must first recognize a critical axiom: Listening to customers should not solely be the role of call center agents.

Listening to the customer should be an innovative manager’s primary concern. Of course, this doesn’t mean sitting in a cubicle and fielding inbound calls under fluorescent lights. It means taking customer service to a deeper level, gathering data, analyzing trends, and responding accordingly. An innovative manager will strive to bring a focus on customer service to every level of the organization.

You should make sure that the needs of customers should be understood by every employee, and every task, duty, and obligation should be initiated with these needs in mind. By aggressively focusing on customer needs, employees will eventually respond to them as if it were second nature.

Think Long-Term

Don’t fall into the same trap suffered by many public companies. The increasingly competitive global environment can force companies to re-engineer themselves, downsize, and cut costs at any corner. CEOs obsessed with golden parachutes and short term fluctuations in their stock prices can become extremely short-sighted. Unfortunately, customer service can be mistakenly seen as inconsequential to sales, and suffer as a result. This internal focus can lead corporations to become disconnected with their customers.

Innovative managers recognize the importance of customer service and the value it adds in the long run. They realize that consistently nourishing customer relationships can substantially increase sales over time.

The first step to seeing these improvements to fruition is to identify the ideal customer for your business. Ask them questions and attentively listen to their answers.

The next step is to analyze their answers, determine their needs, and clearly define processes which will enable those needs to be met. You might be surprised to find that customers are more concerned with customer service and an overall comfort with your company, than the latest bells and whistles.

The insights you can gain by actively listening to customers can go a long ways towards improving your brand, product, and ultimately, sales. If you give customers what they want, they will return the favor and give you what you want.

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