Importance of Active & Empathetic Listening in Business

Have you ever met a person who asks how you are doing, and before you have the chance to answer, they have already walked away? Just like that, asking questions without intention is pointless, and the same idea applies to nurturing customer and business relationships.

If you are a business that values your customers, it is your job to understand their needs and expectations. The key here is to uncover the root of those desires through active and empathetic listening.

Before we begin, here are the benefits of active and empathetic listening in business:

  • You can understand your customers better
  • Your customers feel more heard, understood, and respected
  • You can create a stronger relationship with your customers
  • Your business can be more successful and productive
  • It leads the way for more effective business decisions and overall success

Uncovering the Root of Your Customer’s Needs and Challenges

What does “uncovering the root of needs and challenges” look like, and how do you do it? Modern Trailer Sales offers a great example of how to do this well.

Modern Trailer Sales is a family-owned RV dealership that has been helping customers enjoy their camping experiences since 1951. But a few years ago their company leadership transitioned to the next generation of owners and they wanted to be sure they had a strong pulse on their customers. They saw subtle trends changing in their industry and wanted to be on top of those changes to serve their customers in the most effective way possible.

The Modern Trailer Sales team chose to utilize the Brand Insights™ Research to capture qualitative and quantitative feedback from their customers. They wanted to understand their customer’s needs, concerns, and fears as they went through their buyer’s journey of researching, vetting, and ultimately selecting an RV dealership.

They hired a third-party marketing company to conduct the research. During individual customer interviews, two focus groups, secret shopping, and an online survey, Modern Trailer Sales used empathetic listening. Then, with the data they gained, they were able to apply actionable steps to better meet their customers’ needs with updated messaging, strategies, and support.

When a business serves a diverse group of customers, they can expect that the needs or desires of their customers will be diverse as well. To reach each unique customer group, the best place to start is a conversation through empathetic listening.

Don’t be the type of business that asks your customers “how are you doing?” and walk away before you hear the answer. Instead, engage with your customers through active and empathetic listening. And watch your business grow!