It sounds so practical, so reasonable, so doable…”listening to the customer”. But I challenge each one of us that has “customers” whether we are listening as openly and keenly as we can, given the multiple ears that we have to listen with. With the explosion of social media channels we can now hear from the customer what might have been their conversation on a bus or subway. We can now listen like we are sitting at the table with an employee over dinner by being socially engaged with our employees through internal social networks such as Yammer. We can now listen to the opinion of those who cast perspective and comment on our brands or offerings. Social media opens us to the straight forward non political banter that is the conversation of the masses. If we have nothing but “facts and truth” to put into play…let’s listen and respond. In fact…let’s get the truth and facts into the conversation if it is missing. But first let’s learn how to listen. I’ve always tried to listen with respect of the other’s perspective, rather than defensively from where I sit. Is that customer speaking from being totally informed, or are they speaking emotionally from what they’ve experienced ? There are so many channels open to us today. Through a simple google search you can take a look at what’s being said. Check out Twitter, search blog content, check out comments on a newspaper post, use any of the aggregators that search social networks such as addictomatic. Through listening to the customer we will become better champions of our brands and services and through listening we can respond.However, genuine dialogue starts with just listening. Are you truly “listening” to what’s being said about your business or service ? You might find that you’ve got a few advocates out there as well.  Give a try. Cheers ! @FergDevins