Listen To Your Customer

The key is to listen to your customer. Understand what they are really asking. Know what they need. Feel what they feel, whether it is being worried about something, or excited about another feature.

And then deliver exactly what your customer is asking for. Just not exactly what they envisioned. Your job as the project manager, the business analyst, or the designer is to take the emotions and the needs that the customer (or user) presents, and create something that draws from all of the modern knowledge and skill you have built up over the years.

As the consultant, you can’t tell anyone, “your emotion is not valid” or “you can’t want that.” Rather you must say, “I understand your emotion, and this is how you meet your desire” or “what you want can be satisfied in this way.” You aren’t there to change people’s thinking before you deliver your solution, but your solution certainly can help people change the way they think.

Your customers won’t have the breadth of experience you have, but what they are asking for is still real. You need to give people what they need and exceed their expectations as you deliver it in a way that they never expected. Open people’s horizons – teach them something they didn’t know before. This is how you become truly exceptional.

When you listen to your customer, they will listen to you through the solution you provide. If you have listened well, your customer will feel both affirmed and amazed by what you deliver.