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“We Like to Listen”

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“If we stop listening, they stop talking”.

So said a therapist who specialises in divorce when asked what led to the breakdown of most relationships.  It strikes me as a pearl of wisdom applicable to businesses, especially in this time of talking about listening.

My just bank sent me an email with a survey link entitled ‘We like to listen’.

I willingly clicked on the link as I had a lot of comments on a call the day before. But the three questions they asked – hosted by a big brand in the research world – didn’t cover any of what I wanted to say.

First question: did you call us or did we call you?

The correct answer is both: your irritating automated fraud machine called me three times but cut off before giving me the number it wanted me to call back; when I called the usual line I had to battle to get through the automated system – no I don’t bloody well want to ‘complete a simple transaction’. The lady I then spoke to was very engaging and helpful; but the person in fraud she passed me onto spoke perfect technical English but without the nuances that make words polite.

Tick box, only one answer allowed.

Questions two and three: how many people did you speak to and did the first person just put you through to someone yes or no? End of survey.

This from an organisation that is saying all the right things about the importance of customer engagement.  Whose CEO is all over the papers talking about change.

You like to listen?

Hear this. I preferred the honesty of you ignoring me to this: the new words without action. Next time you ask, I won’ be so willing to talk.  And that, the therapist tells us, will be the end of our relationship.


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