At World Changers, we work with business leaders who routinely ask “How can we more effectively convey our company values to the customers we serve?” Earning the privilege to share our values requires an other-centered perspective that is foreign to many companies. A business that is other-centered places a high value on the quality of relationships. In turn, other-centered companies are rewarded with honest feedback, ongoing loyalty and referrals.
In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey says, “Seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.” Companies that desire quality relationships with their customers always seek to understand customers as thoroughly as possible before pitching solutions. Remember, it’s about them! To better understand your customer, align your business with these three principles and become more other-centered.
- Be Genuine. For anyone to trust us they need to feel that we are authentic. In short, we need to reveal some of our personality. Our customers will always withhold the truth of their true thinking if they do not perceive us as genuine.
- Have Unconditional Positive Regard. Customers arrive in many different forms, and other-centered companies accept them as they are and care deeply for them. You may not approve of some of your customers’ actions, views or politics. But when you approve of the customer with an attitude of “I’ll accept you as you are,” you convey that you value quality relationships.
- Show Empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand what the customer is feeling. We should seek to understand how it truly feels to be in another person’s world, without wanting or trying to analyze or judge. When we do this, a quality relationship and shared values become possible.
Growing an other-centered company requires having the philosophy that people are essentially good and that ultimately the individual knows what is right for them. When we are genuine, accept our customers unconditionally and practice empathic listening, we communicate to our prospects that they are heard and genuinely understood. And when they feel that, they are much more inclined to buy from us and extend loyalty.