How Listening Increases Return on Relationships

Listening to your customers, asking relevant question, truly listening to your customers and what they have to say, then responding to their needs is how lasting relationships are built. Too many firms are still focusing on short term profitability (ROI) rather than cementing lasting relationships with their customers. Achieving ROR (Return on Relationships) takes more than pushing content into the market. It takes active listening. It takes consumer insight.

The model of traditional marketing and advertising is not completely broken.  Then and now, once a customer was acquired, the courtship continues. Today’s marketing model of inbound content, lead nurturing and pumping out social media tidbits may not be making the difference we all might think. Should companies fall short on their ability to understand (by listening) what their customers truly want and how they really feel, the return on investment (ROI) may be directly equivalent to their (ROR) return on relationships.

It takes much more than providing the type of content our customers might be looking for, but identifying what customers want to hear about your particular operating niche. Active listening to the marketplace about what consumers are really trying to find is the difference between the old model and the new.

Remember when you wanted to “hit it off” with the cute girl (or boy) in your class? Depending on age, a punch in the arm, or a passed note to get the attention of the intended, and then building a relationship of friendship and trust began. You went on long walks, talked about the future, learned the little known secrets that made that person unique, and so on. Things aren’t much different (except for the punch in the arm part) in customer acquisition and customer retention today. It takes lots of hand holding, courtship, listening and engagement in incremental steps to woo a new customer that will last. Then there is the listening part; active listening (asking open ended questions). Your ROR will rise in accordance with your consumer insight efforts.


About davidjdunworth

Dunworth’s success comes from a simple belief; “I can sleep when I am dead; then there will be plenty of time for that!” Since the door to door days of his youth, Dunworth has opened, managed and sold more than 25 businesses, and works as a consultant to entrepreneurs and emerging enterprises. His advice for entrepreneurs desiring to grow quickly: “Find the busiest man or woman you can find and enlist their support. You’d be amazed at the results.”
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