Are you listening to your coffee customers?

What’s the difference between “hearing” and “listening” to your customers?

Hearing is a passive role, while listening is an active participation as part of a dialog.

By taking the time to actually listen to your customers wants and needs, you create a foundation to build your relationship deeper and richer … leading to an increase in the life-time value of those customers to your coffee business.

Actively creating a dialog with your customers ensures that your coffee business continues to grow and not only meets, but exceeds your customer’s needs.

How do you create such a dialog?

Conduct a survey. Use a “Customer Suggestions” box. Make it part of your employee’s basic daily tasks to ask how customers are doing and if everything was to their satisfaction and/or what can be improved. Use the your receipts to drive customers online to fill out a survey and enter a drawing for a chance to win a reward. Ask some of your most valued customers to become part of an advisory board and offer the members a special discount for participating. Get involved with social media and listen to what your customers are saying about you and your coffee company … just remember that social media is a dialog, not just another platform to broadcast your ads.

3 Keys to Listening:

1. Listen. Truly listen … don’t start thinking of a response, don’t start thinking of solutions yet … simply listen.

2. Repeat. Repeat back what they’ve said and ensure that’s what the customer was trying to communicate.

3. Clarify. Ask open-ended questions to get to the heart of the matter. After you’ve offered a solution, ask more questions to ensure it satisfies the situation. Use the tried and true staple questions: Who, What, When, Where and How.

Now get out there and create a dialog with your coffee customers!

Open your ears, clear your mind … and listen.