Likeable Business | Dave Kerpen

Summary of: Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver
By: Dave Kerpen


In a world where constant contact has become the norm, the importance of likeability in business is greater than ever before. ‘Likeable Business,’ by Dave Kerpen, offers valuable insights into why today’s consumers demand more and how leaders can deliver. This book showcases the importance of listening, storytelling, transparency, adaptability, and gratitude in building a successful business. Through examples from well-known companies like Netflix, Apple, and Whole Foods, readers will learn the key ingredients of a likeable business and how to cultivate customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, and overall business growth.

Likeability in Business

Building likability in the business world is not a new concept, but constant contact emphasizes its importance even more today. Being a good listener, telling engaging stories, and showing responsiveness, similar to the life of the party, will set you apart from the crowd.

The Art of Active Listening

Listening actively is an essential skill for leaders to make their employees, colleagues, and customers feel valued. This art form demands researching, feeling, intimacy, and mirroring. Leaders must gather information before meetings, notice their emotions and instincts, create an intimate atmosphere by revealing personal information, and engage in active body language. Responding to customer feedback is critical in creating delightful interactions between the company and its customers. Social media has made it possible for all businesses to listen to a massive audience and respond to their needs. Neglecting the message of the target audience can prove fatal to any business. Netflix and Blockbuster are the perfect examples. Netflix listened to its customers and changed their policies, while Blockbuster disregarded their feedback and eventually went bankrupt. In brief, leaders must carefully listen to their target audience to keep them engaged and retain them.

The Power of Storytelling

The success of many businesses relies on the power of storytelling. Consumers are more likely to connect and empathize with brands whose stories they know and identify with. For instance, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream became popular not only because of their interesting flavors but also because of their relatable story of two childhood friends starting a small ice cream shop. In today’s digital age, social media provides a platform for organizations to listen to their audience and tell their story through various mediums. Employees also want to feel a personal connection to the brand. Authenticity is key, and believing in the product is crucial to convince others.

Authenticity in Business

Being true to oneself and showing vulnerability is crucial in personal and professional life. Ditch the “corporate speak” and focus on genuine communication. Empathizing with others and sharing experiences is an effective business tactic. Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey, focuses on communicating core values like sustainable products and equitable treatment to employees, investors, and suppliers, leading to employee satisfaction and customer loyalty.

The Power of Transparency

In today’s digital age, transparency is no longer optional. It means being open and honest by self-disclosing and taking responsibility for mistakes. Customers appreciate businesses that are transparent, forgive them easily, and remain loyal. The importance of transparency lies in the fact that search engines like Google give access to vast information at the customers’ fingertips. Transparency should be a tactical consideration for businesses to build trust with customers.

Building a Strong Company Culture

Building a strong company culture involves empowering employees in the decision-making process, providing recognition and incentives for excellent performance, creating a team culture, and encouraging staff members to take leadership roles and be creative. By allowing employees to define explicit and implicit rules, determining key values, and aligning them, a blueprint for company values that everyone can follow can be created. A healthy environment that recognizes hard work is also needed. Doing so can improve company culture and build likeability, ultimately reducing rapid turnover.

The Art of Being a Responsive Communicator

Being a good communicator involves being responsive to others. This calls for active listening, providing honest feedback, and a willingness to accept negative feedback constructively. In today’s world, social media has increased accessibility and leaders must respond quickly to maintain their brand image. Being accessible online, on the phone, and face-to-face is essential for good communication. Customers appreciate human interaction and businesses that demonstrate a true personality. Best Buy and Jet Blue have won customer service awards for their responsiveness, employing teams to respond to customers via social media. Trader Joe’s customers praise the store’s staff for being responsive to their needs. Apologizing and thanking customers during interactions can go a long way. Negative feedback can be an opportunity to enhance communication systems and improve the organization. Remaining focused on the original mission while adapting to changing demands is a key component of responsive communication.

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