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Lessons Learned on how to be Authentic from Alicia Keys

Who would have thought we could mix pop culture and online reviews? In fact, singer and cultural-icon Alicia Keys is an amazing example of how to respond to customers, genuinely. She’s definitely got the whole process down.

In this video, Alicia Keys is a judge on the The Voice, a television series where contestants sing in front of renowned musicians who are the judges. After the contestants’ performances, they can pick any one of the four judges (at least the ones who have pressed their buttons and turned their chairs around) to be their singing coach for a chance to win the whole thing.

This particular contestant, Lauren Diaz, sings an Alicia Keys song and her voice is pure magic. Alicia presses a button that causes her chair to swing around so that she can face the contestant, which makes her eligible to be picked as the contestant’s coach.

After Lauren’s performance, Alicia simply stands, looks at the audience, then turns to walk on stage and give Lauren a long hug. Blake Shelton, one of the other judges, claims that the hug is a foul.

“That’s not a foul. That’s a feeling,” Keys replies.

The other judges, Shelton, Adam Levine, and Gwen Stefani are quick to give their feedback. They joke and jab with each other and talk about how much they want Lauren on their team, but won’t get her because they are certain that Lauren will choose Alicia. They’re wrapped up in their own voices, their play.

Then it’s Alicia’s turn. Instead of jumping to talk, she first asks Lauren to tell them about herself. She listens intently, to the utter delight of Lauren, who has been practicing Alicia’s songs since she was a little girl.

“There’s no denying this God-given talent that you have,” says Alicia Keys. “I just know that you and me are meant to be together . . .” She goes on to compliment Lauren and convince her that they are meant to work together.



While the other judges are sincere, there’s something about Alicia that goes above and beyond. First, she actually takes the time to listen to Lauren—a key component when responding to customers. Always listen to your customers. Listen to them through the good and through the bad, paying close attention to the latter so you can learn how to get better.

Second, the way Keys responds is so natural; she has her own genuine way of doing things. She isn’t reading a script, she isn’t prepped, and she isn’t trying to sell anything. It’s just who she is. She’s a mother-earth sort of person who truly appreciates and nurtures the contestant standing before her.

You can do the same. When responding to customers, listen to them first. Whether a review is good or bad, listen to them. Make sure you know where they are coming and what they are saying. Then respond, validating their concern or comment and then make every effort to praise them if the review is positive. If it’s a complaint, make every effort to rectify the wrong and bring them back. At the end of the day, people want to be seen, heard and understood.

Another tidbit about Alicia Keys that reveals just how original she is, is that she agreed to do The Voice on the condition that she will never ever wear makeup on the show. She wanted to set an example for the younger generation and show them that being yourself is enough.

When you respond to your customers, let them know that you care. But before you do, watch this video for some genuine inspiration and amazing singing.