As a customer strategist, your role is to help your organization listen to customers and develop customer strategies that will help to earn more from customer relationships. (e.g. Strengthen customer loyalty. Retain customers. Attract new customers. Grow market share. Develop new markets. Be innovative.) It’s a big responsibility. As a result, it is important to have the required knowledge, experience, and expertise.
But, what if you don’t have all of the answers? Our culture often sets the stage for people to feel compelled to give the impression they have all the answers - even when they don't. Despite that cultural phenomenon, I am starting to see signs where vulnerability is valued.
· In the book Getting Naked, Patrick Lencioni challenges service providers to be, “completely transparent and vulnerable with clients in order to overcome the three fears that ultimately sabotage client allegiance.”
· A recent Harvard Business Review - Management Tip of the Day encouraged readers to, “Admit you don’t know all of the answers.”
· Steven D. Levitt made the case that it can pay to say, “I don’t know,” on the new Freakonomics Radio Podcast. Pretending to know the answer to something can be destructive and makes it impossible to learn.
Of course one can’t use this approach all the time. But surely, no one is fooled into thinking we always have all of the answers…