Want to improve? Listen to what people have to say about you.
No Limit Agency put a grading system in place last year. It has worked great, as we are able to understand how our clients are feeling about strategy, service, relationship and results, as well as how we can get better. This has been a process, and I have learned a lot from it.
As I wrote in the column linked above, I was initially afraid to hear from clients that they were unhappy with an aspect of what we were doing. No one likes to hear bad news (unless, of course, you are an avid viewer of the 5 o’clock news), nor do we want to hear that a client could be potentially interested in exploring other opportunities.
Although that statement can cause anxiety, it also can provide something beautiful – knowledge.
Knowledge is power (I sound like “Reading Rainbow”). Knowing what a client is frustrated with is an opportunity to fix it – and make the relationship a million times better.
In the PR world, a frustrated client isn’t always black and white. Sometimes it’s very grey – such as, “I just don’t think we are getting enough press.” That statement leaves little as far as tangible solutions, and sometimes when you bust your butt to get those extra “results,” they are not good enough. However, this can help guide you to at least attempting a solution through agreed upon expectations.
The same grading is going on right now for consumer brands, it’s just a matter of whether or not they’re listening. The beauty of consumer brands is that through review sites and social media platforms, you can hear what your customers, clients or guests are saying about you. Does that pizza you labeled the greatest thing ever fail to meet expectations because you priced it too high for what the customer got? Did your manager fail to use the words “I’m sorry” when a customer was given the wrong meal? Did your team forget to yell, “Welcome to Moe’s”? All of this information sits within the World Wide Web and can help you find answers to service challenges you may have.
In business, service seems to trump everything, and the quickest pathway to improving your service is by listening.
At No Limit Agency, we strive to provide better service, relationships, results and strategy than any other agency in the world. Perhaps it’s a lofty goal, but by listening to our clients’ needs, wants and frustrations, we are able to make adjustments to fill in their blanks.
This listening doesn’t just stop with our clients; it also extends to our team. If we understand how we can make our environment better for our team, we’ll continue to find, keep and reward great people. With great people, providing better service, relationships, results and strategy will be easier.
Listening is a powerful tool. Don’t overlook the knowledge you can gain by opening your ears and being open to constructive criticism.