The Loud Customer

The term customer is used frequently in marketing circles. In the local government and service sectors it is often shoved to the back of consciousness that it’s people that you are dealing with. For engineering and design companies, the customer is called the “client”, and I’m not sure if that’s because there are typically fewer of them, and therefore they are “more important”, or if it’s purely cultural.

Anyway, in many organizations, the loudest voices often command the greatest attention, and decisions become responses. Seth Godin has a riff today on customers, he says…[ad#125-right]Seth’s Blog: Listening to the loud people

Here are three common listening mistakes:

1. Believing that your customers are monolithic, that they all want the same thing.
2. Believing that loud customers speak for all customers.
3. Worrying that if you don’t satisfy short-term, loudly articulated needs, you will fail.

Seth offers some advice to turn this trend around, including, “You decide, not your customers, where you want to go. Lead, don’t follow”, and a neat suggestion about collecting positive feedback.

What tactics do you use to deal with the loud people.

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Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.