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Making it Easy to Talk to Customers
by JoAnna Brandi

Customers. Gotta love them. We all want more of them and we all want the ones we have to spend a little more time and money with us. These days many customers don't have the money to spend and so the natural tendency is to want to go out and look for new ones who do. It's a great strategy, it's necessary, but it's really only half the story.

Times like this are great times to talk to customers, to delve deeply into understanding who they are, what they really need and why you might be a good choice for them. This is not the time to abandon the customers who got you where you are today, but the time to build those relationships even deeper with understanding and the sharing of ideas.

Recently I had the honor of co-facilitating a meeting of Michael Angier's Diamond Club. The topic: Customers. I actually didn't get the chance to say much - Mike had it nailed, and beautifully. I loved being able to chime in with my two cents where appropriate and we had a great time.

Everybody learned something - including me. And if you know me, you know I am anxious to share that learning with you. So herewith is a list of things you might want to use as you are making your customer calls. As you ask these questions over time you will find you have a deeper and more intuitive understanding of what your customer needs now and will need in the future. You will bond to that customer with your caring and concern and you will deepen the emotional connection so critical to loyalty.

Here's what you want to know about your customers:
  • Where they are - physically and emotionally and in relation to you

  • What they search for

  • What they do

  • What their big vision is

  • What they need to do their jobs well

  • What they buy (what they really buy - not what you sell)

  • Why they buy

  • What things are important to them when they buy

  • What problems they have

  • What solutions they already know about

  • What keeps them up at night

  • Where they buy, How they pay, How they found you

  • What they need that they don't know they need yet

  • What you can do to ease their pain

  • How they like to be "served"

  • How often they like to be contacted and how

  • What really matters to them

  • What they value

  • What language they speak (big picture, operations, details, finance, outcomes ?)

  • How you can help them be more successful in reaching their goals

  • How you can help them help others

  • How you can put a smile on their face

  • What you can do to get them to tell their friends all about you

Whew... well, Michael's questions got me started and now our combined questions can get you started.

It's a great time for getting closer - to customers, friends, family and community. Use it well.


The Author

JoAnna Brandi

JoAnna Brandi is the Publisher of the Customer Care Coach® leadership program. She is the author of three books: "Winning at Customer Retention, 101 Ways to Keep 'em Happy, Keep 'em Loyal, and Keep 'em Coming Back" "Building Customer Loyalty - 21 Essential Elements in ACTION" and "54 Ways to stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World" JoAnna is an accomplished public speaker and a contributing author to numerous business publications. Her work in customer loyalty has been cited in Fortune Magazine, Sales and Marketing Magazine, The Executive Report on Customer Retention, US Banker, the Retail Advantage, The Kiplinger Letter, The Competitive Advantage and dozens of others.

You can subscribe to her bi-weekly Customer Care Tip for free and find more of her work at and .

Many more articles in The Customer Care Coach and Customer Service in The CEO Refresher Archives
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Copyright 2009 by JoAnna Brandi. All rights reserved.

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