Ken Hughes – 5 things you Need for Healthy Customer Relationships
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Ken Hughes – 5 things you Need for Healthy Customer Relationships

Too lazy to watch the video or read the blog? If your time is more precious than Gollum’s ring then here are the key takeaways this month.

Customers want to be valued and feel they are in a balanced relationship. Treating them like a transaction does not build brand loyalty. Relationships take work, and not just in the points of conflict. You need to build authenticity and human connection into all aspects of CX. Implement these 5 aspects to a healthy relationship to start:

1. Love and Commitment. Love is a verb, you have to show your customers you care. You have to give maximum effort at every point, commit to a future together. Forget NPS and satisfaction tracking. Forget about customer acquisition and retention (if that was dating, you’d be tying them up in your basement). Show them you love them and are committed to having them as a lifelong customer.

2. Quality Time. One way of showing love is spending time together, making time for each other. Don’t waste your customers time by making customer journeys or processes difficult for them. Don’t keep them on hold and don’t pretend you are ‘there for them’ while ignoring them, in store or online. Don’t be that date on their phone all the time.

3. Intimacy. Aside from Physical Intimacy (something we all crave post pandemic), we need to focus on what intimacy really is – fostering a sense of closeness. We can do that though Emotional Intimacy (empathy, shared understanding of how a customer feels), Mental Intimacy (meaningful conversation and shared interests) and even Spiritual Intimacy (shared purpose and beliefs). Foster a sense of closeness with your customer, but ask before you hug them.

4. Trust, Fidelity and Honesty. If we want their brand loyalty then we need to show them the same loyalty and respect. When a bank charges you for a dormant account every year but doesn’t advise you to shut it down or when an insurance company inflates your renewal premium only to reduce it when you compare against a competitor, they are not being honest. Relationships without trust fracture eventually.

5. Effective Communication. Learn to converse with customers not ‘communicate at them’. Learn active listening skills that are more about empathy and associated action than just waiting until the person has stopped talking.  Communicate with your customer outside of conflict or obvious moments, but always with purpose that has genuine value to them.

Reference: Ken Hughes