Too Much Technology Could Cost Businesses Customer and Employee Satisfaction, Todd Linsky Discusses
- by Todd Linsky
BAKERSFIELD, CA - As fast as the business world is changing, especially in the manner of expectations, you won’t likely be talking to as many people in the future. Businesses are becoming driven by technology, using the transactional model, algorithms, and regression analysis at the cost of relationships, negotiation, and conversation.
The business model is increasingly being affected by the need to compete based primarily on cost and the aforementioned changes. This may force more and more employers to hire solely based on statistical and mathematical acumen necessary for their evolving business model. Many are banking on the theory that the time and energy required to form relationships costs more real dollars than replacing your staff every three to five years. As expected, the time and effort needed to invest in and mentor the next generation of exceptional leaders fails to materialize because of the constraints on the business.
Despite the changes directing business it will not mitigate the need to meet and effectively communicate with people. This is just as crucial for your in-office interactions. Communication is a building block of company culture, and how it fares dictates how successfully you translate your message to your customers. Even though businesses often direct employees on what to do and say, they still need to find an individual voice that resonates and is believable. Despite our world driving towards a more transaction-driven model, it is still necessary to know how to effectively communicate your company’s purpose and position.
Many fear face-to-face meetings. Lack of experience and a concern about controlling the outcome destroys confidence before the meeting even takes place. Unseasoned negotiators don’t realize that part of the “win” is in the creation of value for each person. A tip in discovering the win is to answer these two questions prior to walking through the door: How am I of value to you? Why are you of value to me?
Taking your time to develop a rapport is just as necessary as the other reasons that brought you to their door. In fact, I present the belief that relationship-building is the primary reason for a three-dimensional meeting. Without a relationship, what might happen when you hit a roadblock with someone that has no trust in you, seeing your business as a means to an end rather than a partnership?
We are approaching a tipping point in our lives where many interactions are reduced to social media, emails, and, if we’re fortunate, teleconferences. One client shared, “It will be interesting to see where this industry is in five to seven years. Many of the hiring practices are centered around analytical/logistics skills rather than personality. If it happens on both sides of the table the face-to-face meeting will consist of texts flying back and forth!”
In working with young emerging leaders at TLC, it has become clear to me that, while booksmart, many need to acquire the skills that can only come with real world exposure and mentoring. High-impact tools that managers have in their arsenal to train include industry-sponsored events as well as local non-industry volunteer opportunities.
Advanced learning through seminars and networking through face-to-face discussions provides much-needed experience, supporting thoughtful, engaging programs to grow our future leaders. Local non-industry events and non-profits are also ways to develop the skills necessary to be effective in the workplace, teaching time, resource- and human-management as well as creative thinking, all while filling the need to give back. These opportunities for exposure are a real teaching moment. I challenge clients to take these experiences to think bigger and from a different perspective, working to guide them as they follow through and discover their value to their company and their clients. As Aristotle pointed out, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
We can still create value for our companies by being of value to our customers. Making time to get to know people is a gift and the art of relationship building not yet lost. I always say, “If you’re on the phone, keep talking as long as the customer will interact. Negotiations begin with a simple conversation that opens the door to more profound relationships that will move the needle.”
In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be, by remaining what we are. - Max De Pree
At Todd Linsky Consulting, known as TLC, our purpose is simple; we want to change the conversation in the industry by challenging the status quo and working to make each day extraordinary. We lead with integrity and our goal is to be of value to our clients by employing skills and insights derived from over thirty years of hands on experience. TLC constantly strives to find new and innovative ways to help others flourish beyond what they thought possible. We accomplish this by putting our emphasis on people and developing relationships with purpose. That focus will ultimately drive the bottom line.