Do you really understand what someone wants? Have you asked?

Maizi MuttMaizi

It was so frustrating this morning. I was trying to make my human’s, Steve and Ann, understand what I wanted using my clearest barks. They just weren’t asking me the right questions.

They were saying “Do you want to go out? Do you need a wee?” But I really wanted to go out to see if that pesky cat’s been in the garden. But they never asked me that.

It’s funny, because my human’s are always barking on about companies who don’t know what their customers want, but they think they do. Just the other day they came up with…

A list of things a customer wants from a company

• Speedy service

• A minimum number of options

• Wanting to be understood

• Made to feel special or important

• A positive surprise

• Confidentiality

• Satisfaction

• Value-for-money

• Make it easy to do business

• Consistency & reliability

Or it could be all of the above.

Steve and Ann often say to me: “You just need to understand your customer to understand what they really need.”

A lot of Alisar’s work involves identifying the answers to

• Do you ask your customer the right questions?

• Do you repeat back to the customer what they just said?

• Do you clarify their needs?

Steve’s always going on about this classic Two Ronnies sketch which is essentially about being understood. Have you seen it? It always makes my humans laugh.

Do you need “fork handles” or “four candles”? I must say I prefer the fork handles that Steve or Ann use to feed me my dinner, especially as I can’t get into those tins as I don’t have opposable paws.

Joking apart, businesses must be crystal clear before a customer transaction turns into a comedy of errors. And you really don’t want that. Unless you’re a Shakespeare fan…

Clear transactions mean satisfied customers, repeat business and plenty of other benefits.