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April 15, 2008


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There are many ways to figure out what the customer wants ranging from formal surveys to simply picking up the phone and asking. There is always one common thread to truly understanding the needs of customers. We must all listen carefully and ask a lot of questions. This is something that we preach throughout our company.


I like the "what would the customer want" question.

I've come to believe that employees will work to whatever level they are reasonably expected to. If you treat your employees like they need constant supervision and believe that without it they will be lazy and give poor customer service, they most likely will prove you correct. If you respect them and believe that they are competent to do their jobs, if you empower them to do what is in the best interest of your company and your customers, they will most likely reward you by behaving that way.

I think your guiding principal also suggests some thinking out of the box. Too often I meet people who are stuck in their set way of thinking; what is most efficient for them. Sometimes I need to point out to them that what is easiest for us may not have any value to our clients, or at least not optimal value. Clients can be the same way. They are use to getting information or service a certain way and do not understand that other forms might be more useful. Often the client doesn't even know what they want. As the expert on the topic it is our job to walk them through things, list the pros and cons of all approaches and listen to what they are really trying to achieve. Then we can make some suggestions on how we can best serve them.

Philip Jackson

It would be great to know what the customer wants, without even asking! The customer will have a good impression of you! It's a good thing that you've chosen to use that question as a guiding principle, Flint. Good job!

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