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Customer Service Intelligence requires the art of listening to the customer

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In 1975 Professor Tom Cottrill at Northeastern Oklahoma State University taught a course that proved instrumental in teaching students a great lesson in customer service. The course included a section on what Cottrill felt was a forgotten art. Cottrill was passionate about developing the ability to listen.

The lessons in the course with Professor Cottrill are still relevant today, nearly 40 years, after the present writer completed the course. The scholar was right. Many small businesses fail because sales associates are not taught to listen to their customers.

Clarabridge understands, as did Tom Cottrill, that listening is a key element in the development of any business. “In the Age of the Customer, consumers hold all the power, so analyzing their feedback is considered mission critical to drive customer engagement and ultimately, the bottom line,” the company states.

Without gaining feedback from customers and listening very carefully to what the customer has to say it is impossible to give customers what they want. Clarabridge has many brilliant people who spend their days researching and thinking of ways to enhance the customer experience to identify insights from customer feedback to engage customers.

Clarabridge has a better idea when it comes to listening to customers, “We are excited to announce the release of Clarabridge 6.2, with enhancements that will enable users to identify insights from unstructured feedback such as social media faster than ever before and deliver them to the proper stakeholders to engage and close the loop with customers.”

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, the present writer will join Clarabridge Vice President of Product Management Fabrice Martin, to discuss how Clarabridge 6.2 can provide small business leaders with:

  • Accelerated time-to-insights and increased actionability.
  • More powerful analysis of unstructured feedback.
  • Smarter social and chat analysis by understanding conversation context.

A great way to know if a person is truly passionate about a topic is to listen to them, take careful notes, then come back in a decade to see if they are still saying the same thing. In 1984, nearly 10 years after listening to Professor Cottrill’s research and theories on listening, the present writer took a graduate course with him on Business Organizational Communications. His passion on the topic of listening had not changed.

Listening to customers is just as important today as it was in 1975. The customer is always right; however, if the small business is not listening to the customer it will not be in business very long. There is no greater shame in customer service than losing a customer because the small business would not listen.

For more information on the brilliant minds at Clarabridge, where they live and breathe feedback, to go the present writer’s interview with Clarabridge CEO Sid Banerjee linked below. For an update on the Clarabridge seminar on "No Conversation is Left Behind," tune into to this page on May 30, 2014.

This article is dedicated to a great small business owner and an even greater teacher of the art of listening.

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