I tend not to take business advice from rockers, let alone ones with a past, shall we say, as checkered as Led Zeppelin, but their 1969, B-side hit “Communications Breakdown” has some worthwhile tidbits beyond Robert Plant coping with...
What a great article this is that is all about listening, continuous conversation, and storytelling. Written by Vick Vaishnavi, it goes way beyond what other posts on listening cover. Yeah!
I like that the author distinguishes between hearing and listening in customer relationships -- and what listening to customers really looks like as a business activity that moves the organization forward.
The quality of your listening with customers, the quality of your ongoing dialogue, will determine how fast you will grow, but also your ability to be sustainable. Ultimately what Vaishnavi is talking about is having dialogue and storytelling as a core competence.
Now in fairness, he never mentions storytelling. But it makes total sense that when in dialogue with customers you want to consciously evoke stories so you can understand their authentic experiences.
And as the author points out, dialogue is a two-way street just like storytelling is. That means shifting your interactions with customers from a "I'll listen to you and take your info back to the org" to "I'll listen to your experience and share in return."
The author does not mention exactly what to say in these customer interactions but here we can take some steps from the storytelling playbook:
- use a story prompt to actually evoke an experience
- listen delightedly/appreciatively
- ask reflective questions to get to meaning ("what did you take away from that experience? what did that mean to you? tell me about the impact this had on you..., etc.)
- Share all the things you appreciate about what the customer told you
- Depending on the context, you might even have an opportunity to share an experience in return
Listening, dialogue, storytelling -- these will all bring great benefits to your business!
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content Just Story It at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it