Are your customers dying to see you fail?

September 8, 2010 at 9:27 AM Leave a comment

It’s usually taken for granted that to get feedback, you have to bribe people. Every customer has a price, and if you pay it, you can find out how you’re doing. Fill out a survey and win an iPod (did you ever notice that everyone gives away iPods except Apple?).

The implication is that customers really don’t care about whether you fail or succeed — they have no intrinsic desire to be in a relationship with you.

Years ago, working with one of our multinational retail clients, we tested a different strategy. We approached customers with a sense of humility and partnership, and found out that they were eager to participate. In fact, we discovered an untapped reservoir of good will, and a desire to be heard and to engage with our client.

Just by sending the message in a personal way, keeping the survey relevant, and reminding them that we knew who they were, we got high participation rates. No bribes, no contests.

Naturally, you need to act on what you learn. But the point is, you strengthen your brand by listening. And you’ll find that the people who you listen to want you to succeed.

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Can a Corporation have Moral Values? Debunking the Golden Gut

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Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at www.fuseinsight.com

 

"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters

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