The Importance Of Listening To Customers



There are many reasons why  listening to customers is important to your business.

Listening to customers is an important art that you can learn and develop in the interest of your business.

This article is, therefore, focusing on the various ways listening skills can help you become more successful in your business.

Listening to customers: get business opportunities

Listening to customers can help you to get business opportunities you never new existed.

For example, if you hear your customer in a conversation with someone, say he wants to build a website you can zero in on that to do the job, if you are a web designer.

Even if you are not a web designer , you can look for someone who can do the job.

At the end of the day you will get your own cut from the designer because you brought the business.

Similarly, during oral or telephone conversations between people, you might hear someone say he:

  • is making good money from fixing phones
  • needs a carpenter to roof his house
  • is making good money from fashion design

If you are interested, these are clarion calls to you to learn how to start any of those businesses.

Yet a customer may tell you of a product that your competitors are making money from and which you can add to your offerings. The list continues.

Listening to customers: prevent customer service issues 

Listening to customers can help you to prevent customer service problems.

For example, your customer might complain about:

  • poor customer service
  • delay in delivery
  • Inefficiency
  • rude customer service reps
  • poor quality products or services

Listening to the customers properly can help to understand their concerns, And you can, therefore, find solutions to their problems.

Sometimes a customer can tell you of  the problems competitors are having with a particular product.

Consequently, you can plan how  to prevent that problem from occurring in your business.

Listening to customers: helps you to negotiate

You need good listening skills when negotiating deals with your customers.

You also need to listen properly when your customers say things about the ease of doing business with you.

For example, if you are bidding for a big contract, you need to listen attentively so that you can understand the terms and conditions inherent in the contract.

Furthermore, can you imagine how it will feel if you were to sign an agreement with a customer and the contract turns round to be unfavorable to you? Just because you did not listen properly during the negotiation.

Therefore, listening to customers as well as others with whom you  do business is very crucial to success in your business.

Helps in conflict resolution

Often times, workplace disputes and unhappy customers disrupt productivity.

Moreover, such disruptions can create poor environment that can impact on the efficiency of your business processes.

However, listening actively to all the people concerned can help you to resolve all conflicts  in the workplace, especially your  customer service reps.

For example, if an upset coworker or dissatisfied customer feels he is truly being heard, it can help to:

  • calm the situation,
  • relieve negative feelings
  • and provide an opportunity for real problem solving to begin.

Most importantly, effective listening skills can help you to improve interpersonal relations between everyone in your team.

Therefore, with great listening skills, you can easily solve many business problems of your your customers.

Listening to customers: helps understand customers better

Great listening skills can help you to understand people better.

Inability to understand people can be due to one or a combination of the following:

  • language barriers
  • people who stammer
  • customers who may not be patient with you
  • communication gap
  • and so on.

Therefore, it is very important that when you discuss with customers, they understand you and you understand them too. And together both of you can move on from there.

Active listening skills: prevent mistakes 

Generally speaking, misunderstandings between customer service personnel and your  customers can be  due to poor listening skills.

For example, if you give your employee an instruction on how to carry out a particular task, you expect that he should be able to do what you want him to do.

However, if due to poor listening skills the employee did not understand what you want him to do, both of you will be working at cross purpose.

Therefore, to prevent misunderstanding in the workplace, you must listen to your customers just as you want them to listen to you.

Listening to customers: helps you to make better decisions

Great listening skills will help you to make better decisions for your business.

You need to listen carefully when evaluating the feedback you receive from the field.

Such feedback may concern:

  • your business
  • target customers
  • trending news
  • what  your competitors are doing
  • the strategies they are using to drive sales
  • and so on.

Most importantly, listening properly to your customers can enable you to make better decisions that can move your business forward.

Listening to customers: communication

Active listening skills: Conflict Resolution

Workplace disputes and unhappy customers disrupt productivity and create an inefficient work environment.

An ability to listen can, however, turn a disruptive situation into an opportunity for growth.

Furthermore, if an upset coworker or dissatisfied customer feels that he is truly being heard:

  • it can help to calm the situation
  • relieve negative feelings
  • and provide an opportunity for real problem solving to begin.

Helps in customer retention

Listening to customers can help you  to retain your existing customers.

Similarly, it will enable you to acquire new customers.

Read: 20 Customer Service Skills That Every Employee Needs

By Samuel Ijenhi

B. Sc. Accounting (University Of Benin)

Benin City, Nigeria.

About Samuel Ijenhi

A graduate in Accounting, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
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