I see you over there, CEO. You’re the one who’s all business – presiding over meetings with your singular focus on the numbers and the results, and that cool appearance that broadcasts to all that you mean business – only business.
But, at the end of the day, are you looking beyond the dollars and cents, to that emotional connection that brings the most loyal contingent of America to shower your company with hard-earned loyalty?
You may know the financials, the daily revenues, and the people. But do you know, and more importantly feel, the business the way your customers do?
Deciding to be emotionally disconnected from the business, may, in theory, seem to be an appropriate path. But it’s disingenuous to the way commerce is conducted today – and too much isolation from the nuts and bolts from your business can be unhealthy – or worse. Here are some real-world examples that illustrate this paradigm:
Lest ye think that a connection borne of personal, intangible feelings is hard to quantify within your business, think again. An eye-opening Harvard Business Review study drew a solid line from the heart to the wallet, finding that emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as those who are simply satisfied with your product or service.
But it’s understandable: Becoming disconnected from the customer experience happens to all of us, despite our best intentions. We are busy with the pressures of day-to-day business. The board meetings, the team meetings, travel to remote parts of the company’s sales territory and outlying facilities can make us feel like we are indeed busy -- but are we really “in touch”?
We need to maintain our “fingertip” grasp on the business – at the point where we can have a “tactile” understanding of how it feels emotionally to be a customer of our company. Do we experience the “delight” of unexpected great service, or the resentment of being treated poorly?
Here are four rules to live by to stay emotionally, viscerally connected:
You may already have engaged in some, or all, of these exercises, as the committed leader of your company. But I’ll bet the pressure of time, and other issues, has crowded out these activities. Make today the day you renew your commitment to the emotional side of your business. Start with these four rules. Carve out some time to experience your company the way your customers do. It will be emotionally satisfying -- and can have a surprising impact on growing the business.