Often, a new business strategy or technology comes along that can be transformational for a business. But because people tend to be creatures of habit, they can be reluctant to change. Unfortunately, this reluctance can stymie good customer experiences and profitability.
The key to effectively drive change is influence. Do you have it? If not, how can you get it?
Garrison Wynn—author of the bestselling book The Real Truth About Success (and keynote speaker at CRM Evolution 2014), spoke with CRM Editorial Director David Myron about influencing others to do what you want. Spoiler alert: Whether you want to influence your colleagues or customers, success starts with effective listening. Here's an excerpt from this interview:
Myron: From your perspective, what are the biggest problems facing businesses today?
Wynn: One of the biggest business problems is understanding what the customer really values. We have this belief that customers need certain things, and we want to try to satisfy the customer, but the truth is customer satisfaction is just not enough. We really have to find out what that value is. Unless we know what they value, it's very difficult for what we deliver to really be something to catch on and sell.
The other thing is profitability. Can we make enough money doing this? That really requires that people are on the same page and understand the same goals. If one group is developing something on this side and the other group is developing something on that side and those two groups don't communicate or understand or have a similar goal, in the end what you have is something that may not be profitable because everybody didn't understand what was important as they went along.
Myron: If these issues are ignored, how could they affect businesses overall?
Wynn: Companies go out of business every single week because they've offered something that, when the customer got it, just wasn't good enough. The biggest mistake they make is maybe they start out with something that's great and the deliverable is fantastic, people really like it, and they get a great following. Then they say, "Wait a second, we can make this a lot cheaper." And what they do is they downgrade the deliverable so much that all of a sudden they just lose their customers.
There's a myth that once you hook a customer who's loyal, you can downgrade your deliverable and they won't notice it. The problem is that most of them do notice it and about 25 percent will actually be verbal and vocal and poison the rest of your market by talking about how bad it is or how good it used to be and how it's not that good anymore.
Myron: In your book, "The Truth About Success," you draw a distinction between being the best versus being consistently chosen. Why is being the best not enough?
Wynn: Well, because people don't choose what's best. They choose what they're comfortable with, whether it's the best or not. If it were [only based on what's best], everybody would choose that, nothing else would be considered. Decision-making doesn't work that way. People have to be really comfortable with what you're doing. And some people wouldn't know good from bad. They don't really know. They just know what their comfort zone is. So, again, you have to really understand what people value.
The number-one thing that people value is feeling valuable, that they know you value them. They'll know that you value them when they get something from you that really works for them and they go, "This is what I need." That means that you'd have to know [Read More]