Whether it is praise or criticism, the first rule of service, and perhaps success, is to listen to your customer’s opinion. Take every interaction you have to engage your customers with honest questions and use this information to reach your business goals.
By asking the appropriate questions, you will learn in no time what your customers’ needs may be, perhaps why a product or service is valuable to them or may not be. Through active listening, you are empowered to develop services and produces that will meet your market.
And expand this to your internal customers (your employees) as well. Through effective Performance Management programs built on productive communication, you can learn a great deal from your employees. The Japanese did it very successfully in the 1970s and 1980s with Total Quality Management in the auto industry.
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them” - Ralph G. Nichols