Art of Listening


Seth used waitering as an example in a recent post about the importance of listening to what customers tell you. A timely follow-up to my last post defining can't give people what they want if you don't listen to them. And, here's the really important can't deliver what they want in a meaningful way if you don't understand why they want it...which is the key point to listening. You can't improvise, exceed expectation or anticipate the next request if you don't listen to understand.

Too often, service providors get caught-up in the process (bringing water to the table in Seth's example) instead of the art of what they are doing (understanding why the person asked for "no ice"). The best chance to be different, to perform beyond expectation and to do something meaningful is when you hear the odd request, a challenge to one of your rules or even a complaint. These moments are the real golden nuggets. But, you have to want to hear them first...