Committed personal relationships aren’t formed overnight. Customer relationship management leader JC Quintana shared his insights in October (Watch the video or check out his book.) and filled us in on three common myths among business leaders:
- It’s all about doing business. (Hello, silos. What’s your end-game?)
- Technology solves everything. (Put some thoughtful “oomph” behind that IVR!)
- Net Promoter Score is the be-all, end-all. (Make sure I’m yours, then we can talk about recommendations.)
Brands have to get back to the basics and start with an honest investment in building relationships. You wouldn’t propose to the apple of your eye a the first date, would you? (Certainly not with a text message!) So why do we expect it to be that easy with business consumers?
In a recent issue of Glamour (yes, we read magazines at the hair salon just like everyone else), dating columnist “Jake” wrote this:
I’ll be frank: Dating in 2015 can be a smartphone-induced nightmare, and I get as distracted as everyone else. Amid all the fretting and stressing over how long I should wait to send a text or why she liked one phone on Instagram, but not another, I’ve realized that it’s easy to lose sight of the things that make a relationship real: affection and mutual respect.
It’s like Quintana commands: A committed relationship is about a lot more than just frequent interaction and attentive customer service. Engagement, centricity, service, support, transparency… It’s the whole package, tied up with sincerity, that lays the groundwork for loyal bonds that hold up through thick and thin.
Part of companies’ imperative is to just be there for customers like one might with a spouse. You’ve probably seen Jason Headley’s video It’s Not About the Nail? We laugh because it hits close to home for many of us. “You always try to fix things when what I really need is for you to just listen.” (Of course, in the case of customers, then we’ll fix it.)
Sometimes, brands just need to make it easier for customers to vent, find more avenues for proactive support, and count on the fact that customers may return the favor and by showing some love with another purchase, a high satisfaction score, or a credible recommendation. That’s what enduring relationships are all about.
That, and “Venusians are always right.”