Are you listening to your customer? No, I don’t want fries with that!

February 15th, 2019  |  Laurie Hawkins

No I don’t want fries with that…

In a business world focused on driving revenue, increasing dollar spend per client, and upselling…I find “Customer Laurie” feeling like a checklist for customer service people.  Creating a connection and being treated like a unique individual have been lost in the sea of building consistent approaches instead.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to support the necessity of processes in order to drive efficiencies and effectiveness but couldn’t we find a way to do that and treat our customers like they really matter to us? 

Diet coke used to be a part of my daily routine and being on the road quite often, I would find myself going through a popular drive through to get my favourite drink.  I don’t order anything else and yet am consistently asked if I would like “fries” with that.  Wouldn’t it make sense that I would order food first?  If you thought of buying habits, and weren’t given a script to follow, what might you ask me instead?

It’s time to get back to the foundational ways that people connect with each other:

Truly Listen to the Customer and adjust your conversation to what they are saying.  Yes, you have to ensure that you have timeliness and business opportunity top of mind…when you listen you actually have the opportunity to really help your customer buy something else versus being turned off by your approach.  What if you said something instead like…we have incredible warm blueberry pies that would go great with that drink today, are you interested?  Still simple and yet, more effective!!!

Ask Relevant Questions to the situation so that you can connect with your customer personally.  Connect with the customer’s needs by asking questions versus trying to tell/sell on your ideas.  Human nature is to want to share your thoughts and yet the person asking the questions is actually the one that is truly in control of the conversation and therefore the outcomes.

Create Processes that Allow for Human Flexibility.  Training and development are so important and creating processes that drive your business effectiveness and a huge part of what you develop your people on.  The potential risk is that there is no freedom for being authentic and connecting with your customers.  Ensure that you teach people how to be real and think through every interaction they have experience.


What can you do differently to truly connect with your customers and drive longer term loyalty?