Reading is one of the best habits you can have for knowing what is going on . . . and for understanding issues related to your customers experiences with your organization. Customer service is not a department. It is a leadership responsibility. No matter how high up in the organziation you are, read your customers letters and listen to calls they make to your customer service department or to your call center or to whomever takes these calls. Ask the people that take the calls to give you a summary of the complaints at least once a week. Call back some of your customers and listen to their story. This is what a professional would do.

When you know the truth, you make better faster improvements in your business. In this day and age speed is vital. Customers do not have a lot of patience. The world is spinning faster and faster.

How many customers have you spent time with in the last 30 days? For most leaders it is not nearly enough. If you don’t know the truth you can not make the right decisions to improve your organization and grow your business.

This week find a way to talk with at least a few customers a day. This will give you a lot to think about and then act on.

If you read lots of customer letters, you will change the way you think; and solutions will become more clear to you as you try to figure out processes and procedures for making some of the complaints go away.  You will spot trends that need attention, and you will just be closer emotionally to your customers.

Reading your customers letters and listening to them will make you smarter about your business, and they will move you emotionally. A digital customer satisfaction survey is just not the same.  Being moved emotionally is one of the forces that has created the greatest change through the centuries.  So to be better:  Take The Time To Read and to Listen!   …Lee

PS: Thank you to those of you who are writing comments to me. They are helpful.

  1. Lee,

    As usual, a great article. Thanks for writing it.

    I write many email messages daily, usually in response to someone’s request for assistance or to ask someone for more information. More often than not, I rarely get the information I request in the message.

    I believe I write very clear and concise messages. I use short sentences and break up my thoughts with different paragraphs. However, many recipients of my emails usually do not read them thoroughly. Perhaps they are very busy and rush to get through their daily tasks. Regardless of the reason, I no longer ask for multiple pieces of information or make multiple requests in a single email. I find I have much better success at getting the information I need by sending multiple emails with only one topic per email.

    If anyone experiences problems getting information from individuals via emails, try my solution of writing one email per topic.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Armand Girard

  2. Lee,

    Great article absolutely agree. We have one problem in this area. I own a small business where I work directly with the clients and my job is to understand their needs. The problem is we attempt to get digital feedback, which is only mildly helpful as they don’t take much time to share. When we have attempted to engage them as to what I can do better they again don’t volunteer too much info. How can I get honest feedback that is really helpful, in such a small organization.

  3. Hi Lee, great advice. A lot of times is easy to shy away from the customers and a potential conflict you might have with them. I know I’ve been guilty of this is in the past. However, confronting a situation directly is always the best thing to do. And in this post you suggest actively searching for customer feedback – an even better solution. Great tip. Thanks.

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