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How fearless leaders listen and make more money.

fearless leaders listen | Shep Hyken | XTRAcredits Faculty

Leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are profitable. It takes at least two people to have a conversation. Listening doesn’t have to just be between people. It can be between a brand and its customers, or its employees. It’s a different kind of conversation. Customers and employees are talking, sharing feedback and opinions, and companies are listening intently for opportunities to capitalize on what they learn.

Brands that listen well respond by doing something with the information. Their response isn’t in words, it’s in taking action on what they “hear,” says XTRAcredits Faculty Expert and New York Times Best Selling customer service author Shep Hyken.

HundredX, a company that creates listening/feedback software for enterprise business clients, surveyed more than 500 business executives. They discovered that 94% believed the following statement: “Listening to customer feedback is increasingly critical to the bottom line.” It is the fuel for customer retention, employee fulfillment and the growth of a company.”

Rob Pace, CEO of HundredX, is adamant about creating a listening culture.  He has shared six ways that listening can improve business performance. My comments follow each of his concepts.

How fearless leaders listen and make more money.

  1. Listening Gets You Feedback And Data: Your customers can give you the best source of real-time feedback, and employees on the front line are typically the first ones to hear from customers. Together they can diagnose the good, the bad and the ugly and identify opportunities to create a better customer experience. Employees on the front line must listen to customers. Leadership and management must listen to the front line.
  2. Listening Gets You Stories To Share: According to HundredX, most feedback methods produce loud-sourced data that is negative. There’s an old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Companies usually debrief problems and complaints, but it’s important to look at all feedback, the bad and the good. In addition to managing complaints, problems, etc., take the good feedback and stories and share them with employees and customers. Positive feedback should be shared on websites, brochures, and more. It can be some of your best marketing!
  3. Listening Grows Customer Retention: It’s pretty much universally accepted that it’s less expensive to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones. A survey by HundredX and YouGov shows that 88% of business executives believe that to be the case. And HundredX believes what drives retention is listening, and just as important, acting on what you have “heard.”
  4. Listening Will Increase Customer Spending: It’s pretty simple: Make a customer happy and they buy more. And what makes them happy, in addition to a good customer experience, is feeling that they are being heard. The proof is found in social media. When a customer tweets (or posts on any other social channel), we must listen … and respond. HundredX cites a report from Applied Marketing Science that found that customers who receive responses to their tweets are willing to spend 3-20% more on average-priced items.
  5. Listening Creates Brand Ambassadors: When you make customers happy, they talk to their friends, family members and colleagues. This is amplified through social media. And, your best marketing is going to come from customers who sing your praises.
  6. Listening Creates Employee Retention: Customer feedback is gold —and so is employee feedback. Listen to your employees’ suggestions and ideas for improving any aspect of the business, and act on the best suggestions. You will be amazed at the incredible suggestions your employees will give you if you simply ask and listen.

Rob Pace sums this up perfectly:

“The capability to listen at scale will define best in class organizations. It starts with a cultural shift away from a broadcast mindset to listening.  The ultimate objective is for the customer or employee to feel they were heard.”

When you make listening part of the culture of your company, you will increase the opportunity to earn more money.  After all,  the happiest employees and customers are those who feel that the companies they work for or do business with that relate to them. Why?  Because these companies listen.

Leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are transparent and breed loyalty.  You know the leaders who have their employees’ best interests at heart because they truly listen to them.

Take care of your customer and your employees and the money will follow.

So what’s it going to be? You going to act scared and end up retiring with everything you ever made but not enough to really live life? The opportunity will come for you to listen and lead the question is, will you be ready?

When you are looking for ways to improve the culture for your customers & employees,  you need to commit to a listening attitude.

Get my 6 ways to create a customer-focused corporate culture. It is designed to get you financially, emotionally and mentally confident enough to listen and build loyal relationships with your stakeholders and a better environment for your employees. Where you go, I go. Listen at the gym, on a run, on your way to work or even fall asleep listening to my tips.

I want to help you – do you want to help you?

Be Remarkable,

Shep Hyken

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Shep Hyken at XTRAcreditsMore About Shep Hyken:

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author and a Faculty member at XTRAcredits in the Continuing Education department as a subject matter expert.