As you build out your customer engagement plans – do you have programs that require you to stop pitching and start listening? There’s a funny thing that happens when customers pay you for your products or services… they start to tell you what they think and what they need. If you take the time to listen – this can be the most powerful engagement technique in your toolbox.
Too often, companies think about 400 strategies to tell customers what they are doing. And, often times 399 of those strategies are one way pitching at customers not really engaging them. Take some time to write down the places where you are engaging your customers in a dialogue – where they have an opportunity to offer their perspectives. (NPS surveys are not a dialogue FYI). Next, look at the places where you are not engaging in a two-way form of engagement and assess if there are relatively simple and inexpensive ways to shift the program to listening and acting. For example:
- Take 50-60% of your NPS respondents and hire a third party to interview them to understand why they scored you they way they did. NPS is a great data point, but it is not giving you the why behind the answers.
- Assess your events and determine if you can move shift some portion of each event into a place for clients to offer views and hear from your leadership and each other.
- Consider grounding your executive level engagement with a customer advisory board (yes I’m saying this because this is what Farland Group does!, but they actually work). Through a customer advisory board you will gain an ongoing program with insights that can serve as the anchor for content for your other programs.
Finally, after you listen to your customers make sure you have someone empowered to act on their thinking. Even if your action is telling them that you are taking a different tact, you need to show that you are doing something with the advice and experiences they share.
Take the time and make sure you: Ask, Listen, Act.