The Customer Comes First

I saw a text the other day to someone who was providing a service and had put themselves out to ensure that everything the customer had asked for had been done. The person had also forfeited some other things to ensure that the customer service was excellent – a verbal ‘contract’ was in place and the customer had been won. Sadly, the text from the customer severed that verbal contract and showed absolutely no understanding of the provider’s situation or the sacrifices that they had made – pretty bad.

What’s the point of this little story? In any transaction it is of great value if both parties fully understand the other party’s situation. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. The person sending the text above didn’t take any account of how much the provider had moved things around from their end because they either had no idea about what had needed to be done to provide great service to them to meet their exact needs, or they simply didn’t care. Either way they showed scant regard to the other person’s situation.

When serving customers or clients you must demonstrate empathy, you must try and reduce their stress and hassle whilst not harming your own business. To do that you must take that ‘walk in the customer’s shoes.’

To do that use what we have been given TWO ears and ONE MOUTH – listen. Effective listening comes from:

Firstly, learning more about your customer from good preparation – prepare questions that will gather the information you need to move things forward.

Use open questions to gather key information – What? Where? How? Who? and Why?

Show a real interest in who you are talking to and their world as they see it.

Listen actively without interrupting – clarify things if they are unclear.

Never presume that you know what they mean.

Ask ‘probing’ questions that move the conversation forward – for example ‘what would you like to see in terms of growth this year?’

From this you should understand what needs to be done to win their business.

The opening paragraph here was all about a business who did everything they could to meet the customer needs and they actually got the business – but they were let down by the customer. That said if they continue to offer this sort of service, they will be successful in winning customers more often than not.

If you need some support in winning more customers, get in touch with Tinderbox at or call us on 0116 232 5231.

Also have a look at our online learning platform provided by our sister company where you can find useful business tools, courses, articles, access to Experts and more.

Click here to access The Box Academy and see for yourself, you can join for free and if you like what you see, join as a full member giving your people access to a huge amount of learning and development material.

The Tinderbox Team