Words. We all use them, and without them we lack a way to communicate with one another. Words tell stories, share information, create problems and solve them. We carefully select our words in some situations and other times we are much less precise. However, the words that we choose are really only a part of the story. The message that our words communicate is not just dictated by the words themselves, but by how the listener (or reader) hears them.
Our society today is one where people can easily share their thoughts and use their words to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs very freely and openly. This is amazing gift, and yet I believe it comes with a side effect. We have become very quick to speak our thoughts and use words to communicate a message, but at the cost of being effective listeners. Our readiness to communicate and share our thoughts everywhere has taken away from our readiness to listen and hear what others are saying.
This is a problem.
Businesses (today more than ever) are putting a strong emphasis on the words they choose to use to share their story and communicate their brand message – and there is nothing wrong with that. However, I think it may be safe to say that business are much better talkers than they are listeners. The last thing that a business would want is to get into a “digital shouting match” to see whose message will be heard by the audience. However, that is exactly what’s happening. Maybe the key isn’t to be the loudest voice in the crowd, but to be the best listener.
As I mentioned before, our society has become great at talking and using words to effectively communicate a message. Social media websites only make that even easier. So why are businesses only trying to be the loudest voice in the crowd and not trying to be the best listeners? Consumers want to talk and feel they have a voice, so why not listen to what they have to say?
Some would say that their consumers aren’t talking so how can they listen. My response to that is that if your consumers aren’t talking, you need to ask them. If your customers aren’t already sharing their thoughts about your business and your brand, then you need to give them a way to. Ask questions and take advantage of social media to give your customers a voice. It will only benefit your business by improving in ways the customers want and helping them feel involved.
It may take some incentivizing to get the ball rolling on customer feedback, but once you give someone your listening ear, they will be sure to talk – and that’s exactly what you want. Give your customers a voice and then listen to it. Use both sides of the communication coin and don’t just talk for once. It can only help you.
Don’t leave your customers asking, “Can you hear me now?”
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