Don’t Bother, I Can’t Hear You

picasso type picture with one person trying to hear what other is saying

What now? My 88 year old mother asked me a question and could not hear my answer.

 “Is the baby eating only dry food?” – she repeated the question (which I had already answered a dozen times).

“Don’t worry mom.. she had yoghurt, fruit and a complete well-balanced meal.”

What??… Actually don’t bother.. I can’t hear you…. and I’m telling you.. make sure she is not only eating dry food. I’ll make her some soup.. Why do you insist on giving her only dry food?”

I could only sigh…

Convince her to get a hearing aid.?. 

Do they give out Nobel prizes for whoever is successful in convincing my mother in anything?

You see, we’ve been spending a few months in Greece with my elderly parents, and my mother is hard of hearing – to put it mildly.

She’s mentally sharp, can get around pretty well for her age, but she’s got a strong and stubborn streak – including a refusal to get a hearing aid.

So our deep and spirited discussions continue…

So why am I telling you all this?

Because, just like my mother, companies can be deaf to their customers. They may not be hard of hearing, but they are often tone-deaf. They don’t listen to what their customers are saying, and as a result, they miss out on valuable feedback.

But there are ways to get your message across – and you don’t have to shout to be heard, like with my mom.

Start by figuring out what customers use to communicate with you. Are they emailing you? Calling you? Posting on social media? Once you know that, set up a system to respond quickly and efficiently, and tailor how you speak to them.

Email

No one likes to feel ignored, and if you do not respond to your customer’s emails in a timely manner, they will feel that way.

If you want, you can set up an automated response so your customers know their email has been received and that someone will get back to them soon.

But here’s a WARNING. Do not answer your questions with automated templates that insult your customer’s intelligence.

For example, I emailed my bank and gave them all the details to send my credit card to a third party. 

Their reply – Please send us the details to the third party.

They hadn’t read the message or understood basic English.

I had to respond and create a new request with a subject header that said something like “THE DETAILS ARE IN THERE, PLEASE PROCEED” in all caps. 

Telephone

When customers call, make sure you have the staff and system to handle the volume and minimise any wait time

Nothing is more frustrating than being put on hold for 10 minutes with terrible music or canned messages and then disconnected.

Or worse to be told to call back and then hung up on.

Do that and you might as well shout: “Hey customer, we don’t really feel like talking to you at the moment. So P*** Off and call back later!”

Social Media

Finally, if they come to you on social media – respond promptly and address their concerns head-on.

Don’t ignore them, especially when they’re taking the time to reach out to you.

Communicating with your customers doesn’t have to be difficult—or loud.

With the right staff and processes, your customers can always feel heard

—no yelling or hearing aid required!