Karen E. Klein writes for the BusinessWeek Smart Answers column and insists that listening improves business. Your company might be listening to your customers, but if people don't believe that you're truly listening, you'll lose them. She says:
Despite the fact that many companies tout their focus on service, the research we did showed that overall customer satisfaction is declining. A global benchmarking study we looked at showed a reduction in customer service satisfaction from 82% to 68% in the last year alone.Indifference as a business experience is a business killer.
Additional studies show that 68% of customers leave a business relationship because of a perceived attitude of indifference on the part of the company. It's not that the associates are actually indifferent - it's the perception that they are.
So a customer may get what she needs from the company, but if it was delivered with indifference, that interaction still won't leave a positive impression.
More than ever, showing customers that they matter to your company is not just an extra - it's vital.