Great article by Andy Sernovitz on addressing a customer's real need instead of their expressed desires. I always envy Andy's ability to get his message out so succinctly!
Too often community managers who strive to be the customer's advocate misinterpret that to mean they must be order-takers. But helping your customers should start with both listening and asking probing questions. "Why?" is a simple though blunt way to start; "How would that make things easier/better for you?" is a better one. Start a conversation and strive understand your customers real needs - it takes more time and effort, but you can make a real difference and build real trust if you do.
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