Are your customers dying to see you fail?


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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 of our multinational retail clients, tested a different strategy. We approached customers with a sense of humility and partnership, and found out that they were eager to participate. We found 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.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Thompson Morrison
Thompson Morrison has spent the last couple of decades figuring out how companies can listen better. Before co-founding FUSE, Mr. Morrison was Managing Director of AccessMedia International (AP), a consulting firm that provides strategic market analysis for the IT industry. His clients included Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, IBM, and Vignette.


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