“Before all else listen. The pathway to change is through relationships, and you can’t form a relationship if you’re not at eye level.”
These are the words of Tim Shriver, Chairman & Chief Executive, Special Olympics. He was featured today in “The Boss”, a regular column in Sunday’s NY Times Business section. In talking about the start of his career he states: “I probably started my career on a big white horse, thinking that I was a social change agent. The kids (who he taught in an after school program) taught me a fundamental lesson: Get off the horse.
Interesting how things come around. His words from many years ago, you can’t forge a relationship if you’re not at eye level, describe perfectly the changing nature of the relationship between customers and companies.
Today, eye level translates to:
• understanding customers and their pain points
• letting go of control (actually, realizing your not in control)
• providing content and experiences that help them do more and achieve more
• responding with real time customer service and support
• being the conduit for customer conversations with others who have similar interests and needs
• actions that build transparency and trust
Are you at “eye level” with your customers?