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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Listening To Women Customers

Woman aircraft worker from Library of Congress

How do you go about listening to your customers, particularly your women consumers?

I'm focusing on women because women make or influence over 80% of the purchase decisions in the United States. That means that they - and what they say - really matter to retailers and to flooring retailers in particular.

Listening is one thing, though. The more challenging task is interpreting what you hear, making sense of it so that you can truly deliver a memorable experience for your customers.

Thanks to a Tweet from Learned On Women's Andrea Learned, I came across this article by Mary Lou Quinlan titled Listen Up, Marketers: Women Aren't Telling You The Whole Truth.

I've heard Mary Lou speak several times and love how insightful her whole truths and half truths are. Check out these two previous posts: Mary Lou Quinlan, Whole Truths, Half Truths and Marketing With Women and Marketing To Women... Online. I wasn't disappointed with her article.

What I particularly appreciated are her ideas for listening more carefully to and better interpreting what woman customers say:

+ Spend more quality time with your women consumers.
+ Challenge any of your assumptions about your women customers.
+ Immerse yourself in the world of your customers [i.e., Walk In Her Shoes or try in-home ethnography - as Grant McCracken describes].
+ Pay attention not only to words, but also to body language and to what you're not being told!

How do you go about listening to and interpreting the words, actions and body language of your core women customers?

Image source:
Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies (LOC) originally uploaded by The Library of Congress

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Anonymous said...

I am a women and I own my own home. When I decided to remodel it was a tough decision. I wanted my flooring to look amazing and stand up to my busy lifestyle! Raleigh Floor Builders was an amazing company to work with. They made it easy for me and they did a great job!

CB Whittemore said...

Anonymous, it's great to hear about success stories. Thanks for visiting.

Unknown said...

Point well made! Until recently, most of our salespersons where men. It was not until we added females to our sales force did I realize how much we had to learn from from them. I thought we were truly listening to our female customers, but we really were not. Until you truly look at the selling process from a womans point of view, you are missing the boat.

Troy Aeby
Duralum Carpets Inc.
Stevens Point, WI

CB Whittemore said...

Thank you, Troy! You share marvelous real world experiences based on observing what is happening in your store. I really appreciate your comments and hope to visit your store at some point.

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