• September 19, 2016

Love Thy Customer. Seriously.

Love Thy Customer. Seriously.

Love Thy Customer. Seriously.

By Stacey Holifield

In January of 2015 The New York Times published the article “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This.” The article explored a psychologist’s perspective that two strangers can fall in love within a 45 to 90-minute period of “self-disclosure and relationship building tasks that gradually escalate in intensity.”

Essentially put two people with only peripheral knowledge of each other together and tick through a list of questions the dig much deeper than the typical surface level questioning of a first date. Conclude by locking eyes with your partner for four minutes. Four minutes. No talking. Just (un)comfortable silence looking into the soul of the person you may have just fallen in love with.
Could this approach really lead to love?

Taking the time to dig deeper, to really focus on someone and get to know more than the surface that everyone else knows—that is intimacy. That’s a connection. That’s a relationship.
Shouldn’t we take the time to do that with our customers?

Wouldn’t that help us communicate more clearly and effectively? Wouldn’t our messages resonate more with our customers if we actually understood their needs, wants, desires and dreams? Yes. Yes. Yes.
Take the time to fall in love with your customers.

Companies are wasting time and money communicating with strangers instead of building relationships. Budgets are created to push out jazzed up, corporate speak, board approved, beautifully written, jargon-filled messages that mean nothing to customers.

When was the last time your customer communicated your message back to you? If that hasn’t happened lately, somewhere along the line your efforts are failing.

  • Can you and your executive team list your top five customers or customer personas?
  •  Can you state out loud, right now, the top three needs of your customers that you are addressing? (Customer needs that you solve. Not the needs you want them to have.)
  •  Do you know how to best communicate with your customer? Not the latest trend but what really resonates with your audience?

I’m confident many of you reading this can’t answer those questions.

Welcome to a string of short term, forgettable relationships. The break-up path.

Don’t you want more than that? You should. Short term, forgettable relationships aren’t the foundation for success. You need relationships. You need to connect. You need engagement. You need to communicate in a way that makes people listen.

Is your communications strategy based on an intimate understanding of your customers? Maybe it’s time to re-think your approach. Think about the time you take getting to know your customers. Ask the questions and really listen. But maybe skip the four-minute eye lock.

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