To: Brita Cloghesy-Devereux
From: Your name and student number
Re: Cultivating the Customer Connection: A Framework for Understanding Customer Relationships by James G. Barnes.
Cultivating Customer Connection
Building a genuine relationship with customers is one of the leading factors that determine a business’ success. For an organization to build a real relationship with its customers, it must have insight on their needs and personality. Noteworthy, building a relationship with customers also increases the length of time that each client stays with them. Additionally, satisfied customers make more purchases from the firm, recommend it to their friend and family, and purchase more items at their full prices. Accordingly, a strong customer relationship can help a company be assured of its continued operation in the long run.
A business must have insight into the customer environment, expectations, and emotions for it to cultivate customer connection. It must also provide the buyer with quality customer experience and engagement. The most important attribute of customer relationship is customer experience since it can lead to the development of a genuine relationship with buyers. Customer experience entails an organization providing a convenient environment for its clients and ensuring that they can interact with its employees. It also entails the business having an on-going interaction with its clients and also aiming to create a better experience for them. For example, a firm can create an online and real-time customer care service.
Customer expectation is the second most important attribute in cultivating customer connection. Usually, if an organization fails to meet the customer’s expectations, its clients move to its competitor. Businesses should provide services that at least meet the customer expectation for them to impress their customers. For example, a restaurant should be able to provide a fresh meal and ensure that its premises are clean. An understanding of the customers’ expectations also enables a business to learn what these individuals do not expect. Accordingly, a firm can always surpass their expectations by providing better services than they anticipate.
The third most important attribute in cultivation customer relationship is customer environment. A customer’s environment influences his/her personality and purchasing decisions. In light of this, a company must have insight on how a customer makes his/her purchasing decisions for it to target and serve the individual appropriately. For example, a business providing safety equipment to persons working in a factory must have an understanding of the dangers in this work environment. This information will help the firm know the most appropriate helmets, reflective jackets, and other safety equipment for each personnel.
Customer emotions are the fourth most important attribute when creating customer connection. Businesses create positive customer emotions by providing appropriate comforts, affection, and a friendly environment for its clients. The continued provision of small positive relationships leads to the creation of long-lasting customer relationships. For example, a barber shop can create customer emotions by providing a relaxed environment where individuals can chat and relax when being shaved.
Lastly, a business must engage its customers for it to cultivate customer connection. Customer engagement entails the business involving its customers in the production and delivery of products and services. Importantly, customer engagement increases buyers’ commitment to the business. For example, a car assembly company can involve its customer in the selection of their desired colors, seats, interior, and tires.
Customers’ connections are mainly based on their vested interests and not unconditional love for the company or its product. For example, if an organization starts offering low-quality products or poor services, its clients will eventually become frustrated and develop negative emotions towards the company and its products. Normally, most of them will complain to the company, and they will demand better products and services. If these services are not improved, they will eventually shift to other sellers. In this regard, it is apparent that customers’ emotional connection is mainly due to their vested interests.