Whether it is your employees or your customers, you really need to listen to them.
I’m sure most of you have worked for someone that never seemed to listen to any ideas that you had for improving the way things were done. I’m sure you have probably also dealt with a manager or business owner who did a not so great job and didn’t listen to why you were unhappy.
You don’t want to be one of those business owners.
You want to be one that listens.
And not just give the pretence of listening, but really listen to them.
Because these are the people that can potentially make or break your business.
If you have an employee that is unhappy or not doing their job well, then talk to them. It might just be that what is making them unhappy or perform poorly is something that you can change.
If you have a disgruntled customer, talk the them. It might be that something they have experienced could be improved that will give them, and other customers a more positive experience next time.
And I understand that it won’t be possible to please all employees or all customers. Sometimes it might be that the employee isn’t a good cultural fit, or might be that the customer is not one who fits your ideal client avatar. Or heck, they might just be unreasonable people! But if you don’t ask, and if you don’t listen, then you cannot know for sure if it is them, or if it is something that you can improve.
And wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you want to make an improvement if the possibility is there? And if the improvement that they are after is not possible (because not all will be), then being heard and being given a genuine explanation as to why not, then that too will go a long way. If might even be that the conversation leads to a different solution that neither of you had considered. But if you don’t start the conversation and if you don’t listen, you will never know.
So please, listen to them. Listen to your employees. Listen to your customers. If you don’t then they will complain to others around you, and that is never good for business.