Usually when we think of relationships, we think of having a connection with another person. Relationships are so important that Facebook profiles indicate you are “in a relationship” when you have a special connection with someone.
A friend made the decision to home school her oldest child this year. The reason? Family interactions were turning into a series of transactions. They were losing the key ingredients of a real relationship. Every day they went through the same routine: Wake the kids up, get them to school, go to afterschool activities, do homework, have dinner, and then bed time. By simply going from event to event, they were missing the critical connections of being a family. Home schooling is changing their interactions – from going through the motions to having a lot more involvement in each other’s lives. It’s not for everyone, but it is making all of the difference in how this family connects with each other.
As a customer strategist you might think about how this applies to your company. (Yes, there is a connection…)
- Is your company in a relationship with customers? Or, do you simply have a series of transactions?
- Is it possible that you might have even fallen out of relationship with your customers? Are you simply going through the motions?
- Do you think your customers have started connecting with someone else (e.g. your competition)?
To be in a relationship, you should take time to understand customers’ needs, expectations, and wants. Know how well you’re doing and where you need to make changes. Customer Listening Programs are a great way to obtain information and the insights needed to develop a Customer Strategy to create or enhance customer relationships.
My advice is to make sure you are not just focusing on the transaction at hand. In addition, be in a relationship with your valuable customers!
Vice President, Consulting Services