Dave Kerpen says it’s “understandable” that a lot of people don’t think much about how to make themselves more likeable at work. After all, there is a tendency to put yourself first when trying to do your job and just take care of yourself every day, so trying to make others like you often isn’t a top priority.
That’s why companies often face an uphill battle when it comes to improving the customer experience. Employees at every level may not easily embrace changing their attitudes and putting the customer first in all instances. Faced with increasing workloads and the stress that goes along with it, employees may find it tough to focus on ways to make themselves more likeable to customers, he says.
Kerpen, founder of and CEO of Likeable Local and chairman and cofounder of Likeable Media, spends much of his time helping companies train employees to develop the skills they need to better connect with customers. It’s a skill that not only leads to a better customer experience, but to better relationships with other team members and business partners.
“Authenticity is key,” Kerpen says. “If you think you can memorize a script, it’s not going to work.”
The biggest takeaway from Kerpen is that companies must create better listeners. Technology, multi-tasking and a multitude of distractions have eroded our listening skills, and that’s not something that will improve unless there is a recognition that it’s a real problem.
“I know it’s something we all struggle with. Some people will claim they are good listeners, but really, they’re not listening. They’re just waiting for a chance to talk,” he says. “I know very few people who are good listeners.”
The fallout is that customers will drift toward companies where they feel heard and give repeat business to employees who are likeable. As competition continues to increase in all industries, companies that don’t help their workers become better listeners – and more likeable – will lose out.
In a new book, “The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want,” Kerpen outlines ways to help employees become more likeable to improve the customer experience. Among them:
- Learn to understand someone in three minutes. In an earlier (read more here)