Joanne Taylor of Nuance Communications discusses how to grow strong relationships with customers by listening to them.
To know and be known: it’s at the core of forming a relationship, and it’s what we all truly desire from our friends, family, colleagues, and customers, if we’re honest with ourselves.
For those who know us best, we want them to respect and accept us because of our flaws (not despite them, as many might say).
In building this type of relationship, a knowing relationship, we must also build trust, courage, and vulnerability.
Working to build these knowing relationships with customers means putting ourselves in uncomfortable zones – those vulnerable places – where the most meaningful relationships can flourish.
Also, it means that we must flex our listening muscles so we can really get to know our customers, to ask new questions, and to embrace the answers on our path to co-innovation.
As others have written, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating innovation, creation, and development; it’s one of the silver linings of 2020.
In other words, nearly every organization must find new ways of being, engaging, connecting, and knowing.
One of the ways we can do this is to ask our customers those new questions. For example:
1. What’s Top of Mind for You?
Whether it’s a professional or personal concern doesn’t matter; if it’s top-of-mind, it can affect relationships.
Perhaps it’s an initiative to cut costs. Maybe it’s caring for a sick family member. Maybe it’s a birthday or a pending vacation. But asking this question opens the door to getting to know people better, and that’s what’s most important.
2. What Can We do to Better Support You?
Very often, when we ask this question, the immediate response is something along the lines of: “We’re good! But …” and in that “but”, if we’re truly listening, we get something that’s vitally important.
It could be about service delivery, solution performance, or some other way we can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you to solve new challenges—or solve an old problem in a new way.
3. Are We Delivering Meaningful Outcomes for Your Organization?
If we don’t know something, we cannot course correct, so if the answer to this question is no, then there is an opportunity to make an immediate difference in the relationship.
Also, if the answer is yes, then there is an opportunity to truly understand why and what it is that we are doing right so we can replicate that with our other customers.
Ultimately, customer conversations are not one-way streets. Everyone learns a lot from these conversations, and we get to know our customers better—which puts us all on the path to building a better future – together.
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Nuance – View the original post
To find out more about Nuance, visit their website.
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