Archie Miller, Discovery Coach at CarMax, unpacks the idea that the term “customer” is business-speak and primes people to think in terms of “us and them.” Miller describes we need to be conscious of the effect language has on business, hence the provocative title of his presentation “Stop Talking to Customers and Start Listening to People.” In his work, Miller refers to customers as “people who don’t work here,” and each of these people has a story to tell. To improve CarMax’s ability to develop cognitive empathy – one of nine different types of empathy that are performed by different areas in the brain – Miller has instituted what he calls “listening labs,” and these have three simple rules aimed to help business people recognize that customers are people first:
- You’re not allowed to take notes.
- You can’t talk to customers.
- The conversation is not related to any particular product.
Accenture | SolutionsIQ’s Leslie Morse hosts at the 2019 Business Agility Conference in New York City.