Stacey Danheiser
Stacey Danheiser 1 August 2016

Revolutionize Your Business By Doing This One Small Thing

Small changes can lead to big impact.

"We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things." - Charles W. Chesnutt

Oftentimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference. Take cooking, for example. One year I had the goal to learn how to cook at least one new dish per week.  So I started by collecting a bunch of recipes online, and was quickly overwhelmed by the new equipment I'd need (a dehydrator?!) and the strange ingredients I'd never heard of (palm shortening?!).  But I realized that making small changes were a lot more manageable – such as trying one new ingredient at a time, or mastering one new kitchen gadget at a time. As a result, at the end of that year, I had become more confident and skilled in the kitchen.

In business, and especially in Marketing, the same is true. The little things are what usually add up to the biggest impact. For example, making small improvements in your customer service – such as answering customer inquiries quicker, ultimately leads to improved customer satisfaction. Or starting to produce meaningful content such as blog articles and sales tools ultimately helps establish your firm as a viable option in the minds of your prospects.

The little things may take more time, but they often help create long-lasting change. So what’s one small thing you can do starting today that can have a major impact in your business? Listening.

Let’s Bring Back the Art of Listening. But Why?

In many ways, listening is a dying art in this “always-on” multitasking world. Sometimes we think we are listening, but what we’re really doing is just plotting our response to what the other person is saying. We are often so focused on the next step, the next sentence, the next reaction that we forget to be present in the moment.

Caught up between the growing number of devices and channels of communication—social media, texting, email, IMs, chats—we often pay more attention to our communications in the virtual space than to those in the real world. How does this affect your business?

Today, when consumers are increasingly taking to the Internet and social media to make their voices heard, the question is—are you really listening to them? At the same time, the virtues of “old-school” ways of listening—be it phone calls or face-to-face meetings—aren’t going away anytime soon. In 2014, a UK study revealed that 68% of customers have had poor phone experiences with major financial services brands, with 36% saying this ‘definitely’ makes them consider changing company.

So let’s do something we normally don't do—Listen, albeit the “old-school” way. 

Strike a Genuine Conversation With Your Customers

As the marketing world increasingly turns to big data and personalization to beat customer-service blues, brands are latching onto any bit of data they can possibly lay their hands on. Whether that data is meaningful or even accurate, is often an afterthought. This explains why most companies struggle when it comes to making sense of all the data they have collected.

Sure, big data is a goldmine of customer information. But why ignore an obvious source of this information that’s sitting right under your nose?—your existing customers.

Take the opportunity to really talk to your customers, rather than talking about them. Step outside of your normal day-to-day routine. Pull your head up from the big data and social media listening, and replace them with a genuine conversation with a prospect or customer. You may be surprised what you can learn.

How to do it? 

Line up a few interviews with your customers or prospects. 30 minutes should be enough if you are planning to talk to customers on the phone. Tell them you are trying to learn as much as you can so that your company can serve them better. And, be sure to follow these tips to prepare and plan for a successful interview.  You may be surprised what you can learn.

To sum it up, implementing this one small change can be a major game-changer for your business. And once you have the wheels in motion, they tend to stay that way.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Financial advisors and other professionals can decipher a lot of information from Google Analytics with three simple categories.

Marina Howell
Marina Howell 17 October 2016
Read more
How to Optimize Your Confirmation Email Design and Make It Bring You More Sales

How to Optimize Your Confirmation Email Design and Make It Bring You More Sales

Email marketing is not just about newsletters! Transactional and confirmation emails shouldn’t be neglected when it comes to design and content. An exceptional confirmation email can help you nail another purchase in minutes.

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 17 October 2016
Read more
Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Here's how you can get a complete view of your customer journey so that your email campaigns continue to win new customers.

Sophia Skinbjerg
Sophia Skinbjerg 18 October 2016
Read more
Omnichannel Retail: Personalizing The Customer Journey Across Channels

Omnichannel Retail: Personalizing The Customer Journey Across Channels

The reality for retailers today is that to be successful, omnichannel strategies are no longer an option but a necessity to stay competitive. Consumers want to engage with brands on social media, in a physical store, on an ecommerce site, through a mobile app, via email or through a phone call.

Larisa Bedgood
Larisa Bedgood 18 October 2016
Read more