Friday, February 25, 2005

Conversational Markets:

In order to get customers to buy in to what we're selling, we have to get them excited. In order to get customers excited, we have to talk to them like real people - but what if there are Barriers to this conversation, as Evelyn Rodriguez points out in a recent post:

"It’s impossible to really hear your customer’s burning issues and their stories if they sense that there are taboos - conversations where they’d be judged for even considering the content matter much less expressing their authentic feelings and viewpoints. "

Lets take that a step further - into the manager's position: It is impossible to really hear your employees' burning issues and their storis if they sense that there are taboos. And if your employees feel that they are unable to speak up - how will they be able to talk to your customers?

It's like a game of broken telephone - the closer to the beginning of the line of people (upper management) that the message starts to break down - the more garbled it will become by the end of the line (through customer service reps to customers.) If this sounds like it relates back to my : What Inspires Me post - and my statement about managers needing to ask more questions - it does. It's all about communication. When the lines of communication break down, then your attempts at marketing become hollow. Customers leave for the competition. They don't feel like you care because nobody is able to effectively communicate.
It's not that the competition is necessarily any better than you at the communication thing- there is just no need for customer loyalty in this scenario.

However, if your competition figures this out before you do - watch out!


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