Do you like Christmas shopping? I dread doing laps around a store looking for ideas for the hard-to-buy-for people on my list. But several years ago I started doing something ordinary that has completely changed Christmas shopping for me. When I spend time with loved ones, I try to pay attention to their likes, wants or needs and I note them in my phone. Then, come December, I have an idea list so I can get each person a gift that fits them perfectly.
The snag to this plan, of course, is when I’ve been too focused on myself or my agenda to notice what someone might need. When I approach my time with others wanting to be served or as tasks to be completed, I don’t notice their needs and so, come December, I’m at a loss as to what gift would serve them best.
And in the same way, maybe we’re missing out on how to serve our customers best. When we are too busy with our agenda, we miss out on seeing others’ needs. We need three things to solve this problem:
- We need to listen actively.
- We need to note our customers’ needs.
- We need to follow up and work to fulfill the needs.
Odds are that our customers’ needs are obvious, but that we’re not always listening for them. We need to have our focus on serving others in all that we do, even if that means our agendas need to be interrupted for us to do so.
We may notice needs from time to time, but how can we be more intentional and practical with them? The following are some ideas I had. If you have a client-service business, you should be focused on actively listening for your clients’ needs in every conversation. Simply set apart time to note needs after conversations. If you have a retail business, you could set up a note board for sales associates to write down customer needs they’ve discovered. If you have a service-based business, you could have your employees note customer needs after each service provided.
It’s often the simple things that can make a big difference in how we serve customers. If we actively listen for needs and work to meet those needs, we may find our businesses become rare and our customers become loyal.
Original image from Death To The Stock Photo.
About the Author: Lindsey Tolino comes alongside artisans, craftsman and people monetizing their passions to help them create healthy businesses. She shares her heart at ToBusinessOwners.com. Follow her on Twitter @LindseyTolino or connect with her on Google+ .