Thursday, April 29, 2010

Not mine to manage; but mine to nurture

Recently I have read a few very valid Social CRM posts / publications that make the point that the company is not in the driving seat of the relationship with the customers anymore; the balance of power has shifted and is now in the hands of the consumers.


Point taken, agreed and accepted… However I want to offer a complementary point of view:

While I can’t really control the relationship I have with anyone in my various circles I do have the option (responsibility I’d say) to play my part in these relationships; if I choose to participate in it the right way and the other party does the same then it is likely that our relationship will strengthen through time and become more valuable for the participants… this is true for my marriage and friendships (I am a very lucky man) and I believe it is also true for the relationship for a company with its customers.

So the point is: while a company can’t control the relationship with its customers it can certainly do its part to try to make that relationship work; but what is that?

Following my analogy I searched for “How to Meet Your Wife's Needs” and found this article; I think the points it makes fit well:

1. Listen
2. Court (Date, Interact, Exchange, Relate)
3. Bring Value (Gifts)
4. Discover (Use the courting to understand evolving needs, adapt accordingly)
5. Remember

What do you think?

2 comments:

kitson said...

Filberto:

Well, yours has the distinction of being the first blogpost I've seen referencing our May10 issue -- congrats on striking while the iron's hot! ;)

(For anyone who hasn't clicked through Filberto's link to the Nxtbook digital edition, the print content will be live on our home page beginning Monday, May 3. If you want to cheat, you can head over to http://sn.im/may10-issue. )

I absolutely agree with you that participation in a relationship is crucial -- but it's important to note that each side of the relationship is sure to gauge that level of participation subjectively. (What one company may see as "helpful," certain customers may view as "intrusive.")

Our June issue is a sequel of sorts to this topic: It's all about communities — the group version of individual relationships, where "participation" takes on a whole new level of importance.

At any rate, thanks for the feedback.

Josh Weinberger
Managing Editor, CRM magazine
@kitson on Twitter

Unknown said...

Josh,

I agree with the point you make regarding: "each side of the relationship is sure to gauge that level of participation subjectively. (What one company may see as "helpful," certain customers may view as "intrusive.")" I do think that also has a parallel in the other relationships I use in my analogy: what I see as valuable may not be regarded as so by my wife; I need to learn and adapt as the relationship progresses.

Thanks for your comment!

Filiberto