The moment I expressed my concerns with an online subscription service, the customer representative quickly apologized that I was not going to complete the transaction, rattled-off the toll-free number, and then hung-up. Sounds familliar.
The funny thing is that had he just listened for a moment, my issue could have been solved and he would have closed the deal. But his senses were so tuned to identifying a non-performer and getting to the next call that the opportunity was lost.
How do you make sure you really hear what your customers are saying? How do you listen for their real needs? If you believe what your fans believe then taking a moment to at least acknowledge your common belief. It may be the starting point for a completely different type of conversation.