Coaching Tip – How Leaders Improve the Client Experience

Coaching Tip – How Leaders Improve the Client Experience


My research indicates that the more employees trust their leader, the more those employees will let their leader know what is really happening.  And when a leader earns more trust from employees, the better the employees will treat clients.

Simply put:  The more employees trust their leader, the better the client experience. 

This makes a strong case for leaders to focus on earning greater trust from their employees.

If you are a typical leader, you might ask, “How do I take an abstract concept like trust and integrate it into my leadership practice?”

For any leader, it starts with developing an executable trust-building strategy.  A plan that is so simple the leader knows exactly what behavior to engage in during conversations and/or meetings.

My research identified the behaviors a leader can engage in to earn greater trust.  Of over 50 behaviors that build trust, one behavior came out on top: demonstrating you are listening.

The key word is “demonstrating.”  It’s about employees feeling the leader is listening.

As a leader, you can improve your demonstration of your listening by asking yourself more specific questions.  For example, you might ask yourself some of the following:

  • What is my employee trying to get me to understand?
  • What can I ask or say to check that my understanding is accurate?
  • What can I do to demonstrate I understand?
  • What part of what they said is new to me?
  • What part of what they said do I agree with?
  • What part of what they shared do I need more information about?
  • Where do our conclusions differ?
  • What is their conclusion based on?
  • What can I ask to find out more about what their conclusion is based on?

Questions like these can inform the questions you ask your employees.  When you ask your employees more specific questions (fueled by your specific questions of yourself), you put yourself in a natural position to listen better.  For example, you might then ask your employees questions like:

  • “Let’s see if I have it right. You said…..  Is that right?”
  • “What’s the most important part of what happened from your perspective?”
  • “I’m seeing the impact is….. Are you seeing anything else?”
  • “Wow. That’s new to me.  I knew that… was happening.  But I didn’t know that…. was also happening.  Can you share more detail about that part?”
  • “That makes perfect sense to me now. What happened next?”
  • “Thank you so much for sharing. I gather it probably wasn’t easy.  I’ll need more information before we can take it to Samantha.  What information can we get to address the ….. concerns Samantha has?”
  • “I understand you’ve come to a conclusion. I agree with what you did …… and …….  I just need more detail about what happened in the other parts.  Can please tell me more about what you observed that allowed you to come to that decision?”

When leaders demonstrate they are listening to their employees, those employees trust their leaders more, and, those employees treat clients better.  Leader trust improves the client experience.  A nice win that easily fits any budget.

What do you do to improve your listening?

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