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Monday, July 28, 2014

Do You Listen to Your Listeners?


I found a cool new restaurant a couple of towns over from me called Il Casale in (Lexington, Mass). It's been open for about six weeks. It's the sister restaurant of another spot they own in Belmont, Mass. (?They? meaning chef Dante de Magistris and his brothers.)

I grabbed a bite to eat there this past week after hearing a few friends rave about it and I heard a great story from a guy named Jeff who is one of the regular customers from the neighborhood.

This story leads to some inspirational opportunities for those of us in radio. Unlike many restaurants that open up and just set the menu and forget it, Dante is obsessed with getting it right. He is constantly tweaking and refining the customer experience.

Dante has a unique and simple method of researching what his customers want. Much like the "undercover boss" concept, he quietly and anonymously goes out onto the restaurant floor and busses tables.

What a great ear-to-the-ground form of research.

His feeling is that he can get that necessary unbiased feedback by listening to what his patrons are saying to each other about the food, the restaurant  vibe, and the overall experience. Think of the ramifications of this concept if a radio brand manager took the same approach around their radio station by doing things like answering the request line, hanging around the lobby when prize winners came in to claim their prize, or just being a ? fly on the wall? around station appearances.

Chef Dante is experiencing great word-of-mouth stories and getting real-time feedback to stay on top of the pulse of his restaurants.

Let's keep the same concepts in mind for our radio brands.

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development for Greater Media and he can be reached at Knight was named among ?Best Programmers? by Radio Ink magazine in 2007 and 2010. He has served on the programming subcommittee of the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) and is currently a member of the Nielsen Radio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) COLRAM Committee.

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