The most valued thing to any business; are customers. We cherish them, we work diligently to get them and we appreciate them. We know our customers… right? Sure we do. They’re customers, our customers and they like us. They must, they’re doing business with us… They are like family! (Insert long silent, reflective pause)
Perhaps like family we take them for granted (occasionally, take another second to ponder), don’t communicate enough or ask the right questions… at the right time. We are so familiar, that we lose touch because of our familiarity.
Like that Yogurt in the company refrigerator… the one without the date stamp… we know about it, but realize we’re not sure if we should touch it…? How could something so good turn out so bad? Well like the Yogurt, maybe it is supposed to…
Is it the fact that not having a date stamp requires us to have better knowledge of the yogurt? Is it possible the missing date stamp is a cry for attention! We have a company CRM, email accounts, an abundance of phones, smart and not as much, from which we can talk or text and of course the new broadcast world of social media… how could we not know what the date stamp on our customer? [Every customer has a date stamp, don’t kid yourself!]
With all this technology it just might be we have lost the art of social interaction, which is more than just staying in touch. Arranging the next meeting, forwarding documents, seeking information and other such purely business-motivated interactions create exchange but are NOT communications. And with business happening globally, performance and production teams in multiple locations the art of interaction actually takes greater effort than in those good old face-to-face days.
Has our customer’s interest in a flavour changed, do they still appreciate the value of yogurt, I mean us. (The yogurt is an analogy… a living thing we have put in a container we call our customer).
What to do, what to do? Well consider assigning the responsibility(ies) as one does with any necessary function. Sit down and designate through a session with your team, who on the other team(s) they feel best suited to ‘connect’ with and stay engaged, not just from a process point of view but also from an insight perspective; perspective to the person but also through them to the organization, team and present situation. The situation, like the yogurt (a twist on the analogy…whoa) could be changing.
Going back to the family analogy, sometimes important information comes out at the most unexpected times, informal times, like at dinner… Knowing how to draw it out is the (client) relationship attribute that needs to be developed and utilized. The secret to relationships is listening. The secret to understanding is knowledge and context. (Ho… there’s a mouthful!)
Have short informal sessions where you have your people talk about their people. Work toward gaining insight and sharing them so understanding of customers is always growing, evolving… like the cultures… in the yogurt.
Quizz4Bizz is a tool that helps organizations educate on their attributes and learn about the interests and values of customers and potential customers.