Listening Is the Key Ingredient to Successful Customer Experiences

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Stephen R. Covey said, "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." The 2015 1to1 Media Customer Champions are doing the former and proving that listening to understand leads to big results.

Stephen R. Covey said, "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." The 2015 1to1 Media Customer Champions are doing the former and proving that listening to understand leads to big results.

Take, for instance, Seth Hall. As the senior vice president of customer service at Philadelphia Insurance Companies, he's considered to be one of the main drivers behind the company now actively listening to its customers with purpose. Seth also takes the time to call customers directly to find out about their experiences with Philadelphia Insurance and encourages the company's executive management team to do the same.

At SanDisk Urvashi Sheth, senior director at SanDisk, continuously aims to make meaningful improvements by listening to customers. For instance, survey feedback indicated the company needed to improve its turnaround time for warranty replacement for U.S. customers. In response, she advocated for an online warranty replacement process which the company eventually implemented.

At Safelite AutoGlass, Renee Cacchillo, senior vice president of customer brand and strategy, created a new service assistance tool by listening to employees. After finding out that a technician enlisted a friend who knows sign language to communicate to a deaf customer the extent of his repairs, Cacchillo and her team then developed official company videos in American Sign Language and Spanish, which are available to all technicians to assist hearing-impaired customers.

Finally, by listening to customer feedback, Meghan Curran, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Shedd Aquarium, made a few tweaks to the program schedule which resolved seniors' complaints thereby increasing the number of visitors. Senior visitors indicated they didn't want to visit the aquarium while noisy groups were also in attendance. In response, Curran championed a new Senior Days program in September on Wednesdays, the quietest day of the week. Over the course of five Wednesdays, Shedd welcomed 1,500 seniors.

It's easy to mistake listening as a simple, passive task, but it requires more than just the ability to absorb information from someone else. Listening is a process, and an active one that requires entire organizations to participate.

Download the e-book to read the Champions' winning stories.

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EXPERT OPINION