Customer-centricity. Again, one of those business buzzwords. We all know we should do it, we all think we’re doing it, yet, many of us fail to do it with intention.

As humans, we have a tendency to be navel-gazers: we are the sun of our own system. And in business, this translates as creating products, services, even content, that we fall in love with.

But then we forget we might be the only ones in love. Is our product amazing because it’s ours or because it helps others? Is our content worthwhile because it helps us understand better what we are doing, or because it genuinely answers a customer need?

Maybe before throwing around concepts and claiming we apply them, we should stop and simply ask ourselves: who are we doing this for? Are we genuinely helping those people? Are we humble enough to put our customer needs first? Are we empathetic enough to listen to what they have to say? And above all, do we have the enthusiasm and honesty it takes to provide them with real, efficient answers?

There are many ways to become a better listener. You can roll out a whole new strategy with fancy tools like Cisco did. Or you can go directly to your customers and start a genuine conversation with them, like Frank did with his wife’s restaurant.

No matter how you do it, just do it. Because being humble, empathetic, and honest with your customers will not only make you a better business person, it will make you a better person.

How can you become a better listener?

Getting the answers you need to improve your business starts with asking the right questions. So how about we meet over coffee and chat about your challenges? We may not find all the answers right away, but we will surely get off to a good start by asking relevant questions.