Saturday, February 23, 2013

likeable business::listening (part 2)

If you want to get caught up in my 'likeable business' series, you can catch up with my previous post.

likeable business (part 1)
Dave Kerpen, 2013

I find myself these days repeating myself over and over to our almost 3 year old toddler.  "What did I say?"  "Are you listening?"  I even go in for 'contact' (touching his hand or shoulder) to get his attention before making my request again.  It could be as simple as getting his shoes on to head to his favorite place, the public library. 

We hear and listen to things constantly through out the day.  Merriam Webster defines listening as 'hearing something with thoughtful attention: giving consideration."  So listening is obviously more than hearing...

So what does listening have to do with business?  Listening to customers, of course!  There are many way businesses and corporations listen.  With the growing popularity of social media, businesses use resources to tap into the 'online chatter' to find out what everyone is saying about them.  Sales also indicate what and how the customers feel about a company.  Items on back order = amp up the supply...customers LOVE this product!  Items falling in clearance since they've been on the shelves too long = store bought too much or customers don't like it (or the price isn't right!)  Polls indicate a lot (though I have found out I get like 2 responses on my online facebook polls...usually my mother in law and a good either peeps ain't getting my notifications or they don't think it matters).  But let's revisit the 'online chatter' of social media.

One business saved its derriere because they listened to their customers. Back in 2011 Netflix proposed and advertised a change coming to its business: they would separate their on-line streaming services from their DVD rentals.  Separate accounts.  Separate payments.  SEPARATE PASSWORDS...*gasp*  Customers took the social media outlet; twitter, facebook, forums, message boards, etc and openly expressed their distaste.  Many even cancelled their accounts!  The CEO took notice of the angry, outraged and dissatisfied customers, made a public notice and did not move forward with the streaming and DVD rental split.  They earned back nearly the amount of customers that they lost.  Listening paid off.

Well, who didn't listen?  You remember the movie rental store Blockbuster?  When did you see the last store open?  Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September 2010.  Findings show there was MUCH social chatter about customer's opinion on Blockbuster's operations.  The two words the popped up most in social media were 'late fees.'  You see, Netflix made it waaay to easy...receive your DVD through the mail, send it back in the mail.  You don't even have to leave your home to 'return' your rental.  Keep the DVD as long as you want...but the quicker you returned it, the more DVDs you could rent in one month.  What about Red Box?  Just add 'movie' to grocery list...seriously, isn't there a Red Box in front of every Kroger in town?  Not only that, rental fees were affordable (I use the past tense...fees have gone up, but are still reasonable) AND you could return it to ANY red box.  Even a Red Box out of state!  So what if you rented from Blockbuster?  You had to lace up your shoes, get in your car (strap a few kids in carseats if you're like me...that takes an extra 5 minutes), drive your rear end to the exact Blockbuster to return your movie.  Soooo inconvenient, right?  Oh, then pay your late fee...tee hee!  Blockbuster's mistake was not listening to the complaints of their customers and not making changes to the way the business operated. So the doors were closed.

What can we learn from these two business?  Listen to your customers!  You cannot please everyone, but for goodness sakes, take their opinions and feelings into consideration for your sake! 

So, listening to my customers...I've put a few polls out there on I briefly mentioned before I get minimal feedback.  I feel kinda disappointed.  Why?  Well because I want to make business changes that customers and potential customer will like.  But I cannot make changes if I don't know how you feel.  What about the social media chatter?  Oh, that gets amped up around the time I makes posts of my latest work.  I haven't seen anything negative, so that's a good sign.  I see 'likes' and comments about how cute the customers' kids are or how their family is growing...occasionally I recognize a name when a new customer wants a book a there's some positive chatter! :)  But I want to know the more important things... how much you want to spend...or what products you look for when searching for a photographer.   What would happened if I all of a sudden wouldn't sell my digital images?  You would have to purchase ALL prints through me. 

So, please take a moment to share with me what you look for in a photographer or what matters most to you...

...anything else???

Feel free to comment below!  I'm listening....

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