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Communication Works Both Ways: Why Listening Is Important

No matter what a company sells to customers, it’s more than just what they say they can do. When a company can show they’re listening to what their audience wants and what they need, that’s when success is born and reborn each day. But how can a company listen to all of its customers? By making it a priority.

Listening to customers helps companies:

  • Know what they are doing right
  • Know what they are doing wrong
  • Know what their customers want to buy
  • Know what their customers don’t want to buy

 

Newer companies, or those who are set in their ways, seem to think that if they just talk enough about their products, customers will swoop in and buy what’s being offered. While this may certainly be  true, customers are smarter than they may have been in the past. They know when they’re just being sold to and when a company truly cares about their ideas and needs.

When a customer is inundated with advertisements and websites, they can tell that a company is simply repeating their marketing strategy. And just like any relationship, a customer who doesn’t feel like they’re a part of the conversation will not want to be in that partnership anymore.

Listening can begin in a number of ways. If a company is using social media, responding to posts is a way to show that the business is engaged. A customer who says something about a company on Twitter, for example, should be able to expect a response. It may not be immediate (though that is ideal), but it will show the conversation is not one-sided.

Other forms of listening might start with a question to the target audience, perhaps in a blog, in a Facebook post, or some other medium. The company or a representative of the company can answer questions or respond to concerns in this public setting, not only demonstrating responsiveness to the person asking the question, but also showing other customers their commitment to listening.

Communication is a two way street and needs to include listening as much as speaking. When customers know someone is listening, they often make decisions based on who they feel is really ‘there’ for them.