Your Customer Relationship Is…Relational.
by Ryan McCarty, co-founder Culture of Good
I’m asked all the time how to grow customer engagement and my answer is usually shocking: Ask them, not me! If I’m not your customer how am I supposed to know what will engage them?
If we’re going to engage our customers (and employees) we should start by asking them in what ways would they like to be engaged. It’s a relationship, so approaching it with that understanding empowers us to connect on a deeper, more authentic level. Gone are the days in business that we can just keep trying to insert new engagement programs into our organization hoping that the next effort we try will work. It’s a bit like our engagement efforts make us out to play the part of a mad scientist hiding in a laboratory (office) concocting up a new magical potion (program) that will make customers more attracted to us!
If we’re going to see customers as human interactions, then the same principles apply as any other relationship:
Communication is more about listening than talking.
Connection is a human need.
A main bedrock of a relationship is authenticity.
Healthy relationships are built through generosity.
Seeing your customer as a human interaction allows you to practice generosity in bighearted ways. You will build a trusting relationship with your customer as you approach them not transaction-ally, but relationally. We should all begin re-framing customer engagements as customer relationships simply because business is a human endeavor.
Growing trustworthy connections happen when we ask the right questions and listen to learn.
Here’s a great question to start with… “What needs do you know you have and how can I best meet them?”