Just be nice. When you’re working to build relationships, you can never go wrong by showing some basic respect, decency and empathy. It’s pretty easy to be nice when the sun is shining, you’re in a good mood, and you’re surrounded by people whose company you enjoy. But being nice can be hard work when you’re frustrated, angry or dealing with someone with a very unfortunate personality. Navigating those moments is never easy, but with a bit of effort you can emerge with your reputation intact and maybe spark a new relationship in the process.
Look at big corporate brands, and you’ll find plenty of businesses paying millions to cultivate influence by creating the next viral moment. Good luck. The impulse is understandable, but the tactics leave much to be desired. Obsessing over “the big one” all too often means missing out on the smaller moments of influence that really matter and you do not have to wait for. Viral moments were not named in haste. They’re called viral because they happen quickly and without notice, grow exponentially, and are very difficult to control for any business caught up in the wave.
Customer experience aka CX is one of the most important trends changing business today. And, experts believe that it represents the next big competitive advantage for companies that invest in it. But what is customer experience exactly? It’s one of those terms (and movements) that is defined and interpreted differently depending on who’s talking about it within the organization. But without a common appreciation for customer experience and what it represents to customers, not just our view of them, our CX efforts may not be as effective as we think.
Transactions, conversions, closing the deal. All good stuff in the grand scheme, but not what we should be focusing on when building sustainable relationships with customers. The problem is that when a transaction is the only goal, there’s little focus on keeping the customer coming back for more. Ten different people who make one-and-done transactions with your business may look the same in a spreadsheet, but one person who makes ten purchases over time is a much better indication that you’re doing something right.
I’ve been reflecting for a while on an article from MediaPost, which outlines some of the ways social media and online culture have changed the way we interact face to face. The upshot, based on a study by the British government, is that we’re making fewer in-person visits than we used to. They’re called “social visits” in the study, which is a perfect name given the subject we’re about to tackle.