Shoes have been the subject of many components of our lives.  Think of all the shoe quotes you know:  “Shoe on the other foot”  “A shoe-in,” “Goody two-shoes,” or “If the show fits, wear it.”  But, no shoe expression is more potent and customer-relevant than “walk a  mile in my shoes.”

The shoes of the customer are far more than spoken needs and unspoken expectations.  The shoes of customers include their hopes and fears related to your capacity to deliver what they want.  They include their dreams and aspirations about what you could be.

Standing in the customer’s shoes is not accomplished by guessing or assuming.  It entails asking and listening to the meaning behind the customer’s answers.  It involves watching the customer in action and drawing conclusions about what is actually happening.  It requires detailed analysis of the customer’s practices and preferences and extrapolating what they might become.  Would your customer agree you are always walking in their shoes based on their experience, not your promises?

About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
This entry was posted in Customer Experience, Customer Relationship, Uncategorized, Wired and Dangerous and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shoes

  1. Your post reminds me of a saying I once heard in sales training: “Smart people walk in the shoes of their customers, but wise people remove their own shoes first.”

  2. Putting yourself in other’s shoes is really hard specially when your in a business, it’s like If a man’s fortune does not fit him, it is like the shoe in the story; if too large it trips him up, if too small it pinches him.

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