How “connection architecture” can establish and then sustain the strongest customer relationships

touchpointsIn TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments, Doug Conant and Mette Norman share some excellent insights with regard to how to maximize the value of frequent and informal interaction with associates. They explain how and why great leadership is about servant leadership in human relationships, “about being present in the moment and feeling confident that you can deal with whatever happens in a way that is helpful to others.”

More specifically, they help their reader to prepare for TouchPoints, create situations in which they can occur, and then when they do, ensure that the shared experience has great value to everyone involved. The approach must be crystal clear, the intentions must be honorable, and the competencies must be applied with humility and gratitude as well as with confidence. As Conant and Norgaard observe when concluding their book, “The beauty of TouchPoints is that they are both approachable and aspirational: every moment is an opportunity to aim for mastery, while achieving mastery will remain an elusive target. That’s because mastery is not a destination – it’s a quest. It is a commitment to developing ever greater clarity and capabilities so that you may become ever more helpful for the moment.”

webbnAccording to Nicholas Webb, this is the “secret sauce” of exceptional customer service: relevant and memorable experiences at every touchpoint. In What Customers Crave, he explains what “connection architecture” is, why it can be so beneficial to everyone involved, and how to design and implement initiatives create exceptional customer service.

Webb focuses on three basic principles:

1. Understand your customers in terms of what they love and hate.
2. Invent exceptional human experiences across all five touch points (identified in the book).
3. Express these exceptional experiences via both digital and non-digital means.

“It’s not rocket science after all.”

What do you love and hate about the experiences you have every day as a customer? Chances are, that’s what your own customers love and hate so, obviously, do much more of what they love and much less of what they hate. This is not a suggestion. Rather, it’s a business imperative. In fact, a survival strategy.

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