When we repeatedly tell our customers what they can’t have, maybe it’s time to simply start listening.

There is an art and a science to listening to customers. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your company resources (people and $$$) are being focused on things that really matter to customers and increases their loyalty. This is the only way to maximize and sustain your revenue opportunity. Full Customer Experience Management #CEM processes and programs like the ones we use at TCELab to help our clients aren’t a luxury anymore — customer focus is becoming the only way to stay competitive in the modern economy.

Sometimes listening to customers is really not that hard.

Sometimes it’s totally obvious. Sometimes its as clear as our marketing messages.

Stephdokin Sorry we don't have coffee

I took the picture above of a local restaurant. The sign “Sorry, we don’t have coffee” on the window made me chuckle. First of all, the name of the restaurant is “Tokyo Cafe” (written in French, for some reason). HEY! the word “Cafe” might make the customers think there could possibly be coffee inside?

Ha! I can imagine how annoying it must be to have lines of people streaming into your Cafe asking for coffee.

All those coffee people are so annoying. In fact, so much so, that the owners decide that turning them away should be the largest part of the store’s messaging on the front window. If their customers keep coming in and asking for coffee, maybe they should start offering it?

Customers are happy to take their business elsewhere — and tell others about it.

I can imagine those lines of people with money in hand, disappointed and going elsewhere with not only their coffee money, but also their lunch money.

I can also imagine the negative ripple effect on their business as they tell their friends, “They don’t serve coffee” and “Can you believe how rude that Cafe is?” and probably, “IT’S A CAFE, for crap sake!”

Pause and re-think. Why not start helping customers do the things they WANT to do?

All we have to do is pay attention.