I recently found an article with a great title:
“Treating Customers as Online Equals Boosts Business, Research Finds” (1)
Of course, I had to read it. And I chuckled a little bit when I read the concluding statements:
“The team adds that one lesson company managers must learn if they are to improve customer relations and sales through social-media applications is that they must play by rules of social media and treat customers as equals.”
I thought to myself, ‘Of course it does! Isn’t that obvious?”
If you stop and think about it, though, the mindset isn’t obvious. It is actually very subtle, and it is extremely difficult to fight.
And that’s probably why it needs to be studied and clearly stated. How is it not obvious, you ask?
The research suggests that many companies are stuck in the mindset of marketing at their customers and that they are carrying that habit into new mediums and new technologies.
Even businesses with the best intentions, who want to offer amazing products and services to people, can be blinded by revenue reports. There’s no question we have to make money and we want to be successful, but the subtle mindset shift comes when we allow that pursuit to shift our view of our customers, seeing them less and less as equal human beings on the other end of a relationship and more as a lifeless stepping stone to a bigger bottom line. Which is why we constantly remind our selves that it’s all about the people.
The article reminded me of our company’s credo (which Robbin had everyone memorize last year):
- Great organizations are driven by purpose, not just profit.
- They grow relationships, not just transactions.
- And they thrive through movements, not campaigns.
(1) – You can read the original article, “Treating Customers as Online Equals Boosts Business, Research Finds,” here.