How Good is YOUR Business's "Human Touch"?...
are People - first and always; just as we are all customers.
And how do we choose products? ...We look
for the best products for ourselves at the right prices. And how
do we choose from whom to buy? ... When faced with a choice between
companies with similar products and prices, we choose the one who treats us
the best. In competitive markets 70% of customer decision
making is based on how we are treated with only 30% being
determined by the product itself, yet surprisingly only 10% of
company resources are invested in how "humanly" they
interact with customers. Instead, businesses are occupied with the merry-go-round of
manipulating easily copied product features and prices.
Over 80% of customer initiatives are focused on
how to “sell the customer better” through matching products to
customers rather then investing more resources in “treating
customers better”. The resources applied to "selling the customer
better" for specific customer initiatives have little impact on a
customer's future decision to buy during subsequent campaigns
whereas resources applied to "treating the customer better" have a
strong annuity affect on successive campaigns.
Even so, businesses make
little effort to truly differentiate their treatment of customers
as people. This perpetuates the natural response of customers to
ride their own merry-go-round - choosing then leaving companies in
their search for treatment differentiation.
Part of the confusion is that businesses believe
they are addressing the "treatment"
of customers as people with customer "relationship"
initiatives. They have been sold the fallacy that if they develop
customer "relationships", they'll sell more. The truth
is that customers don't want, and have never wanted, what the word
"relationship" implies, i.e. closeness, intimacy,
sharing their privacy. Customers simply want to buy the product
that suits them best and be treated as a human being in the
process. For customers, being treated with the "human
touch" means three primary human buying needs are met: 1)
Acknowledgement, 2) Respect, and 3) Trust; Two way Trust - the
customer being treated with trust by the company and the customer
having trust in the company's product quality, delivery and in its
business and human integrity.
When examining business's pursuit of the
"relationship" illusion, it becomes clear that the majority of
expenditures center on matching individual customers and products
with relatively little effort dedicated to how "human"
they treat customers. While the knowledge of customers as
individuals is important, it only addresses 30% of their decision
to buy because it focuses on "what customer will buy what
product", and doesn't address "what company the customer
will buy the product from". While expenditures of this type
create a short-term improvement to the profits, the initial
returns quickly diminish because product demand is created for
both the company and its competitors.
The diminishing returns of this approach coupled
with the rising level of customer expectations has prompted a
growing number of early "human touch" practitioners to
usher in a new era of customer fulfillment. It is the natural
evolution of business's understanding of customer needs and
Pre-1980's Consumers Customers as a Group Product based
Focus Customers as Important Product based
1990's CRM Customers as Individuals Product based
2000 + People
Focused Customers as
People Interaction based
The irony is that the art of the "human
touch" has always been second nature to top sales, marketing,
and service individuals. This book captures the most effective
approaches for implementing this intuitive art as a consistent,
company-wide science by the world's best "human touch"
practitioners. It then provides a pragmatic guide to enable any
business to start implementing these common sense approaches at
the speed and sophistication that best suits them, ranging from
simply communicating more humanly to more rigorous process and
technology oriented approaches.
Customers as People
Leading the Human Firm
Treating Customers with Respect
Building Trust with Customers
Communicating Humanly with Customers
Human Touch as a Series of Interactions
Human Touch as a Process
Implementing Technology to Humanize (not dehumanize)
Conclusion - Releasing your Business's Humanity