thinking like a customer

thinking like a customer

Relevance for Customers

By on April 11, 2012

Paul Adams in Grouped, reminds us that “in a world of too much information, people turn to their friends.” In business, your customers want you to be relevant to them. That means interacting with them differently than you did ten years ago.Relavance

Organizations are buying into the philosophy that, in order to develop a relationship with their customers that goes beyond transactional accuracy and employee courtesy, they need a new dimension in their approach. It’s an emotional connection that is built on authenticity and trust. In other words, your organization has to be important to those customers.

The premise that customers want a relationship with organizations they can rely on as a source, based on positive successes has not changed because of social media. What has changed is our need to understand how these networks scale. The old-fashioned model that believes organizations create customer loyalty through transaction-based encounters is inadequate to explain what today’s world expects. Organizations that understand becoming the “go-to” company for information and expertise that their customers value are superseding this model by creating a network effect that is now far more important. That is the space which future customer loyalty will occupy.

Adams points out that the majority of our communication is with the people (or organizations) with which we have the strongest ties. Imagine that you define your purpose as being the pro-active source of information about your expertise. What if you transformed your company to become a hub of valuable information and a destination to spread your latest ideas? That is relevancy that matters to your customers.

We are launching a website in four weeks which will introduce a new dimension of relevance about customer closeness. It will change the way you think about customers and will be a source of information about this new thinking. It will be called Customer 3D™. A new, more positive direction for the customer relationship journey is beginning.

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2 Responses to “Relevance for Customers”

  1. Brian Kane says:

    In the non-profit world, being "donor-centered" is just like being customer-centered. You have to build an emotional tie between the prospect or donor and the work that you are doing. Otherwise, people don't give and then you don't have the resources needed to be effective.

    I'm in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood this weekend. It's a burgeoning neighborhood with dozens of small shops and bustling crowds. Walk into any store, and you're likely to be treated like an old friend even if you've never been there before. It's an amazingly diverse and appealing place.

    This notion of having the right relationship with customers or donors is really on old one. It's as if we're learning an age-old notion all over again. In this new world of fast-evolving technology and the bottom-line, we do best when we remember that people ... our customers and donors ... really do matter.

  2. Bill Self says:

    Brian,
    It's true that people do matter. A supplier's organizational purpose and presence (why the company matters to the world) are really important to customers that want a relationship with that business, as well. Too often, organizations believe that simply supplying a product or service and some friendliness is enough. It goes deeper than that. Relevance depends on the "backstory" about how that supplier is making a difference. It doesn't have to be grand and glorious. For the supplier to just 'think like a customer' is often a great step in the right direction.

    I'm glad that you are having an outstanding weekend.

    Bill

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