This Is the Age of the Customer
To humanize the workplace means we must humanize how we relate to and sell to customers. Gone are the days where a marketing campaign can manipulate customers to buy from a business. Customers buy based on what other customers say about a business. “Today customers are looking for a human face and voice from businesses,” according to Jim Blasingame.
It used to be that customers relied on a company to provide information to help solve a problem. Now, according to Blasingame, customers have the necessary information needed to decide how best to solve their problem. The internet and social media are at the heart of this shift. Think about how Yelp influences decisions of where to eat. Think about how Angie’s List influences decisions on from whom to buy professional services. Amazon provides ratings and customer comments on a wide range of products. “Being competitive is no longer coin of the realm,” explains Blasingame. It’s relevance that matters.
“Anything a customer can do for themselves is where service stops and relevance begins,” Blasingame explains in The Age of the Customer. Furthermore, connecting with customers is big part of relevance. Customers want to see how their own values align with a company’s values. A business connects through story, too. Again, from Blasingame’s book, he highlights what he calls the 4 C’s of Storytelling:
- Connect with prospects on an emotional level
- Convey your expertise humanity, values and relevance
- Create a memory that a customer will always associate with [the business]
- Convert prospects into customers
To humanize the way we relate and sell to customers is to be relatable and not be a barrier to customers getting the information they need to make an informed decision. The old ways of leveraging information to get a sale is done. What is left is to be relevant and accessible to the customer – be relatable.
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