Marketing today, especially in the data-driven world of technology, is full of reports with visible and measurable results. However, as an article on InsideCXM points out, it is hard to determine an exact Return on Relationship when businesses examine their connections with customers. This can be a hard pill for marketers to swallow, but they may want to be patient: creating more unique interactions with customers and treating them with respect fosters more meaningful relationships.
It seems that giving is ingrained in us from an early age. We give presents on special occasions and give donations to charity. We also give intangible things to our friends and family, such as advice or support. Sometimes when we give, we expect something in return and sometimes we don’t. One thing is for sure: the nature of giving and reciprocating makes it hard to calculate how much one has to give in order to get a specific amount of something in return. That throws a particular wrench into business forecasting.
In this case we have to consider the basics of human nature. As the article points out, creating more unique interactions with customers and treating them with respect fosters more meaningful relationships. Though technology is thought to make interactions less personal, it is still not an impossible task to engage customers on a level that will allow them to connect with your company. And the results of these efforts are not necessarily instant. In the physical world, when you first introduce yourself to someone and, say, compliment their shirt, they most likely are not going to turn around and give you a present immediately. Giving and sharing build up over-time to produce long-term results. This idea applies to both our personal relationships and the connections that companies build with their customers.
So what’s the takeaway? If the old adage, “treat others as you wish to be treated,” still holds true in the digital era, then we have nothing to worry about. Being nice and giving people what they want should lead to a better relationship and a greater chance of receiving something in return – though the return might not be immediate. Meaningful and nurtured relationships lead to long-term sharing and giving, as opposed to producing a one-time result.