Gym Socks and the importance of listening to customer concerns


My wife and I went for a walk the other evening after work. Although the sun was setting here in Arizona the temperature was still just over 100 degrees. When you walk in the dessert the heat radiates up from the ground. By the time our walk was over I could not wait to get my tennis shoes off. I took off my shoes and then my socks and my wife said “why do you do that?” Not to be too insensitive a husband my response was “do what?” She said that as someone family pics 054who does the laundry it really irritates her when socks are turned inside out. She explained (as she has done before) how as a child her grandmother would not wash socks turned inside out. I quickly moved into my “overcome objections mode”; I do not care if my socks are washed inside out… they will still get clean…I do not care what I look like at the gym so I will probably wear them inside out…this is not a big deal… However this was not listening nor taking my wife’s feedback seriously.

This discussion reminded me how customers often share little things that annoy them and we quickly move to justifying what we do, or “defending the fortress “instead of listening and making necessary changes. It is my desire to serve my listen to their needs. So although my wife has mentioned her concerns a number of times over the past 24 years, I quickly mentally rationalized the feedback and did not listen and I did not change my behavior. I failed to be intentional about something that obviously concerned someone I cared about. It would take little effort to accommodate her requested change in my behavior. However it would require a change of habit.

Businesses must also be constantly sensing, listening, and observing the needs of the customers you serve. Listening to customer feedback and responding to their needs solidifies your relationship. Your competitors will keep selling. They will keep rationalizing customer concerns and not make changes. Why not be the partner that listens and makes the necessary changes to eliminate frustrations in dealing with you?


How about you, what small complaints have your client partners expressed?


Is your first reaction to listen or dismiss?


Are you turning any customer gym socks inside out?


(I need to turn the sock on the left right side out before I put it in the close hamper!)

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