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The importance of listening…

We had some interesting, frankly fantastic, unsolicited feedback from partner venues and clients in the last few weeks.  The secret is to listen carefully and to use this feedback to continue to improve the business.

We have always been keen to learn from our experiences and, particularly, the mistakes of others (so we don’t repeat their mistakes), whilst we guide the business along a path of success.  We have always sought conversations with partners and clients based on the quality of our service delivery, products, range, value-add and so on, and, importantly, listened very hard to every word and nuance of what people have to say.

We’ve been amazed at what people will say if allowed.  Talk about ‘dishing the dirt’ on our competitors and other suppliers!  It does make you wonder what they would say about our business if were as poor and sloppy as some of the people and businesses around us.

But hearing about the problems of others is one thing; hearing about the perception of our own business is another.  What is interesting and worth learning from is the way people describe us, their use of language and specific words used.  Often they will describe us, our business and service in ways we had previously not considered.

From a business point of view, we are listening for any negative perceptions or gaps between where we think our business service is positioned versus what our clients think of us.  Recently we have been delighted to discover that the opposite is true; – that our clients think very positively of us, even more than we had hoped for.

OK, so despite this making us feel happy inside, the business can benefit from this feedback by including those very same descriptive terms in our literature and conversations, so that we are positioning ourselves ‘on the same level’ and ‘in the same language’ as our partners and clients around us.

So, expect us to include the following in our conversations from now on:

  • The most professional supplier
  • Not just a great service, but hospitality
  • Our consultation service is a fun and valuable ‘trial run’
  • We are a ‘breath of fresh air’ for the venues

By Mark Flint