Paying Attention To Customer Happiness

When you ignore the times the Internet seems to be one flame war after another you can find those great moments when you discover something really interesting. Recently I learned a little about Derek Sivers, an entrepreneur who has started a number of businesses over the years helping to reshape the music industry. He now is focused on helping people build companies in a number of foreign countries.

What really got me thinking is a couple of his quotes about customers.
Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you'll do well. - Derek Sivers
I've seen businesses go to a point of not caring about their customers at all with their actions and they don't even know it. They think they do, but when customers try to tell them that they aren't happy they try to explain away their actions with what they've convinced themselves are legitimate good reasons. All the while their customer base shrinks as they go to the competition or other alternatives.

We need to listen to our customers. I don't care what your job is, you have a customer. Do you listen to them and seek feedback from them? Do you ask them if they are happy? Do you ask them what would make them more happy? Do you ask them what you do that they most don't like? Do you ask long term customers why they stick with you? Can you listen to that feedback without getting defensive?

Just because customers are paying you doesn't mean they are happy. If they aren't happy I guarantee you they are looking for a way to leave you as a customer and it is just a matter of time before they walk away.

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