Listening Key To Satisfied Customers, SCORE Says

POTTSTOWN PA – What do customers think of your business? Are you meeting their expectations? Are there areas that need improvement? Will they like that new product or service enhancement you’ve been considering?

Answers to those questions and others are there; all you have to do, say members of the Pottstown PA chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), is listen.

Casual conversations can yield a tremendous amount of valuable information about why customers come to you; what you are, and are not, doing right; and whether past problems have been fully solved. You can also get insights on the issues and needs they’re facing, giving you ideas on ways in which your business can help.

You shouldn’t corner customers on the spot for answers, of course, particularly if they are pressed for time. Instead, agree to meet or talk at a convenient time and discuss ways you can help customers explore their options and select the right action to achieve their goals. Remember, your small business will gain customer trust only by listening, not rambling endlessly about what you offer. Results are what customers care about the most. If you provide results, you gain their business.

Once you’ve listened attentively, you have the information you need to create an urgency to act that is based on the client’s needs, not yours. No need to push. Just use your knowledge to understand the customer’s own urgency. That’s why they are talking to you in the first place.

As you hold these conversations, common themes will likely emerge that you can incorporate into your service strategy. Remember, too, that while you should treat all customers equally well, not all of them have the same priorities and concerns.

Customer satisfaction is crucial to a small business. For help in gaining it, contact Pottstown’s SCORE chapter, a nonprofit organization of volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners. Call 610-327-2673 for more information, or find a counselor online.