- Published on May 23, 2018
I have used this saying a few times in my life and have recently begun reading the book, "Know What You Don't Know, How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen." This book promotes information sharing among employees, and that in and of itself, is critical in today's customer centric environment. How many times have you, as a customer, realized that an answer to your problem depends solely on who you speak to in the customer service department? Try making the same call twice purposely and you may end up with two very different answers to the same question. It happened to me just this week.
At a recent software conference, one CEO shared that he has clients who come right out and tell him that they don't want their superiors to know how to use the software. Why not? Usually, there are a variety of reasons. In my opinion, the big picture issue is that it is a company culture problem. When people just want to do what they know and don't want to expand into the unknown, it can stifle growth and is many times harmful for the company and its reputation. Creating an everyone "in" for the good of the company is many times very hard to achieve.
The best place to start is to have a set strategy around your company's KPI's. In the above mentioned book, author Michael A Roberto discusses the importance of how to listen to learn, and even goes as far as to suggest it be taught within the company. He suggests management needs to become an Ethnographer.
You Can learn a lot just by watching. Yogi Berra
Watching or listening to your customers while they are in the moment of experience will tell you a lot about their needs. General Mills, for example actually has their own grocery store right within their headquarters. The General Market, as it is called, is not open to the public. Instead consumers are invited in to shop while researchers watch their shopping behaviors.
With so many conversations shifting online over the last 10 years, listening to social media and the web can identify misconceptions of your product or service, identify trends, consumer buying habits and so much more. Most companies are "listening" to conversations around their social media marketing. This is very important, however it can be expanded on to gain even more research. Technology has made it so much easier for researchers to do this very thing.