Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why "being real" is important

We have moved from a consumer economy where price and quality were the reasons people bought to a new expectation—authenticity.

Consumers today want the transaction to feel real. They want quality customer service from real-seeming people, even if the prices are rock bottom.

We have become this “discerning” because we are strapped for time and
want life to have meaning, even if all we do is work and consume goodies.

No matter what we do, we experience something. The question is:
Will the experience of interacting with your employees seem valuable?

So, how can you and your company that are, paradoxically, in the business of selling make it seem real?

You can start by being aware of what your client or customer experiences. Do people get genuine responses from you and your employees?

Assuming they do is a mistake. An example: I was pitching a story to an editor who told me he had just had to fire an employee. Instead of asking if he was okay or if that had been hard, I didn’t change tack; I kept going with my idea.

I was given the opportunity to talk to him as one human being to another and I blew it. I made a mistake, one I’ll always regret, but that I learned from and hope I will never do again.

If you monitor and moderate the experience from start to finish, the better off you will be. If your employees are happy and are genuinely interested in the clients and customers, your clients and customers will feel validated as human beings. They will appreciate, trust and be loyal to you as a result.

Every time we interact with someone, we are given a chance to connect with this person. That is what people are looking for today.

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