Knowing exactly what they want might be better stated as, “I think I know exactly what they want.” Fast, friendly, and courteous are all things that are synonymous with exceptional customer service. Understanding customer needs might not always be so simple.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who insists on finishing your sentences? I know I have, and I know I’ve been the one finishing the sentence for others from time-to-time.
Usually it isn’t so much that we believe we know it all, it is probably more about demonstrating we are on the same page. At least, that might be what we tell ourselves.
Ride a bike, lift some weights, run, jog, or walk, exercise takes energy. The same is true for being a great listener, having extreme concentration, and even for reading a book.
Do you work hard to understand your customer’s needs?
If you’re going to understand your customer, you’re going to have to listen, and therefore you’re going to have work hard to understand. Finishing a sentence might signal you’re on the same page or it might signal that you don’t have time to listen.
If you’re going to understand what the customer wants or needs you should consider doing more of this:
- Make time. Being hurried seldom helps. Signal that you have the time or will make the time.
- Arrive. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you are first or last, what will matter the most is that you arrive. Mentally and sometimes physically.
- Be patient. Not everyone wears their emotions or thoughts on their sleeves. Allow for expressions of pain points. Practice patience.
- Assume nothing. Thinking you know the immediate answer to their problem sometimes works, it also sometimes doesn’t. Assume less often.
- No anger. Anger never helps. Passion is good but getting emotional probably isn’t going to help you learn more about their needs.
Engage with your customers, do the math, get on the same page. Use your energy because understanding customer needs isn’t always about a race, nor is it necessarily about being first. In addition, it’s almost never about being rushed or hurried.
Sometimes trying to be first just might make you last, or in the eyes of the customer, to not exist at all.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.