As the bigger your business becomes, does it become more removed from your customers? Do you talk to your customers? I don’t mean just a one night stand. Doing the odd tweet, blog post or facebook update. I mean building a relationship, insight and collaborating. Do you see your customers more as data points, in groups? Do you see only facts about your customers, but have little meaning behind those facts? Do you keep your customers at a distance? Are you scared of them. What they might say. (Believe it or not a client said this to me the other day).
Good relationships take trust. We need to be vulnerable and open ourselves up. That is where the good stuff happens. We need to admit we aren’t always right. Sometimes we do stupid stuff.
How do you know what is important to your customers, without an intimate relationship? Have you designed emotion out of your business?
- relationships over facts
- empathy over data
- intimacy over volume
Do your employees make decisions on facts and analysis? Do instead we partner with customers to help make the best decisions for them. We look to solve individual real problems not the crowd’s. Involving the people you serve is intuitive but not done because it is hard. Relationships are hard.It is a commitement.
Consumer collaboration is a better way. People who know me, will know I am all about creating customer centric marketing. The reason is simple. There are only so many ways to streamline, become more efficient and compete. Creating a customer centric mindset is the best way to create sustained growth.
This video from communispace is a great illustration of how many businesses have moved away from customer intimacy and the benefits of collaborating instead.
Do you have an intimacy problem with your employees too?
It is not just about creating a relationship with your customers but also your employees.
How do you communicate authentically? Terry Pearce from the book Leading Out Loud believes it is a combination of appealing to the mind and heart.
- Mind looks for evidences
- The heart looks for passion
- The mind weighs up facts
- The heart acts on faith
- The mind looks for purpose
- The heart seeks meaning
- The mind believes
- The heart trusts
Both are necessary for committed action.
“Motivation”, Pearce says,” is about getting people to do things. Inspiration is about getting people to believe in things.”