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  • Writer's pictureJacob Curtis

Avoid Disaster with Selective Hearing

How did you feel the first time you got terrible feedback from a customer? You probably felt terrible. I know I did.


I was working on a beautiful sunny afternoon when I received an email with the subject line that read something like this, “This is not what I signed up for.” I recognized the sender, and my stomach dropped, my heartbeat sped up, and my breathing was fast and shallow. I was in panic mode. “What happened? Why are they upset?” I immediately opened the email expecting the worst and wasn’t surprised to find a very upset client. In a nutshell, they were not happy with our services and wanted to cancel and get a full refund. Even though it was a beautiful day outside, my day was now ruined.


I stressed for the next 24 hours about what to say and how to fix things. That’s when my wife reminded me that they were not my ideal client. In fact, they weren’t even remotely related to my ideal client. My ideal client, my niche, is an independent fabric and quilt store. And this client was a marketing agency servicing large corporations. It was then that I remembered that I needed to qualify each piece of feedback. And doing just that has kept my ideal clients and me happy.


Beware Imposters

Not all feedback is equal. In each community, there are imposters. As you gather reviews, comments, and insights from your niche community of customers, you also need to qualify the people giving you that feedback. If they are not your exact ideal customer, give less weight to their feedback. Logically, this makes sense but emotionally it is a different story altogether.


With each piece of negative feedback, you need to ask yourself, “Is this my ideal customer”? If so, you need to follow that question up with “Is this a one-time issue, or is it recurring?” If it is a one-time issue, you must make it right with that customer. If it is a recurring issue, you must make it right for the customer and fix the business process.


But if the feedback came from a non-ideal customer, you need to have the emotional fortitude to disregard the feedback. You should also try to make it right without compromising your business integrity for your ideal customers.


You will get negative feedback but it is of tremendous value to your business if you wish to distinguish your ideal customers from the imposters. But if your ideal customers give you negative feedback, you need to make it right for the customers by fixing the business process.


Listening to your ideal customers will help you to know what products and services you should pursue. Listening to them will help you to stay in front of their ever-changing wants and needs and help you to be different from the competition. This is why it's important to gather feedback from your customers continuously.


You avoid disaster by listening to your ideal customers, not every customer. When you listen to them, you adapt your business and stay in front of your ideal customers by continuing to serve their wants and needs.


Review

To review, you avoid disaster by listening to your ideal customers, not every customer. When you listen to them, you adapt your business and stay in front of your ideal customers by continuing to serve their wants and needs.


I will lead a discussion about this the first week of May at the Creative Retailor Live event in Oklahoma. I would love for you to join me in that discussion in person. Click the link and use code CURTIS25 at checkout to get $25 off your registration.





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