Are You Listening to Your Customers?

Aug 29 2014, by Embellish Marketing in Marketing Strategy, Non-Profits, Small Business

As you develop your marketing plan for your organization, you should have many elements included like timelines, budget, market research, print pieces, promotions, and advertising, to name a few. But do you have incorporated anywhere in your plan the simple act of listening?

Why would you need to include listening into your marketing plan?

If you aren’t listening to your customers, then you might as well not be in business. The success of an organization depends on its ability to reach a target audience, engage them, make a sell, and encourage the audience to come back for more.

Rinse and repeat.

Listening can be incorporated in a number of ways: focus groups, surveys, phone calls, social media engagement, addressing customer praises and complaints, online reviews, etc. If you aren’t actively seeking out your customers’ feedback, then how do you know if your products and/or services are on point? How will you know if you are meeting the needs of your target market?

Stop. Breathe. Listen. Take notes. Keep listening. Make changes. Repeat.

The feedback you receive from your customers is the best way to plan for the future of your business. By inviting feedback and being open to making changes, you are showing your customers that you value them, you can be trusted, and you want to build a relationship with them. Relationships are generally not short-term flings; rather, good relationships require a healthy investment of time and communication… including talking AND listening. As a business owner or leader of a non-profit, relationships are your best assets. However, if you aren’t listening to your customers, then how do you expect to build trust with them?

I came across this great TED Talk by Julian Treasure on five ways to listen better. He addresses the art of listening from a much larger perspective that what I’ve discussed here, but the main elements of his presentation are poignant and very much applicable to building better relationships with those your organization serves. This is absolutely a great use of 10 minutes of your time!


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