Wednesday Words

To Go Where Your VisionPoints, a few inspiration points for you and your business.

Patience is the most necessary quality for business; many a man would rather you heard his story than grant his request.
—Lord Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman

True, still so true to this day—and every company, from the Big Boys down to the smallest startup, claims to be full of patient listeners.

A couple of points to make about the listening capabilities at your place of business:

1. You claim it. I claim it. We all claim it. Make sure that if you’re claiming you love to listen to the needs (and especially, to the problems) of your customers, that everyone at the company follows through on that promise. Nothing’s worse than lip service to a policy of “customer-centrism” when it’s obviously not true beyond the folks who wrote the staff handbook.

2. Of course you can’t always grant the request, but nothing proves you listen like action…

3. …and real resolutions! There’s a big company (which shall remain nameless) supplying a colleague with essential office equipment where every. single. employee. is great at listening. Empathically. To the unresolved problem. And claiming they will have things running smoothly in a day, or two days max. For over a year (unbreakable lease, apparently). In that case, it’s the customer who needs the patience, and believe me, when that unbreakable lease is expired, said equipment supplier will find out that they haven’t been very patient after all. That customer is already bad-mouthing them whenever they have the chance, and looking for their next supplier.

Here’s the test: Would your customers agree with you about your patience and listening skills? Are the “great” listeners at your company doing a great job of inspiring customer delight?

 

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson