Every encounter is a story waiting to happen;
a story waiting to be written.
This blog has often covered the importance of relationship building. It remains a key feature of my 7Rs model for for student, workplace, and life success. Each principle touches and impacts the others. Healthy relationships are integral to growth and resilience.
You’ve heard of “B2B” (Business-to-Business) relationships. There’s also “P2P” relationships (Peer-to-Peer) in the area of file sharing and computing resource sharing.
I’d like to put a twist on “P2P” for “Person-to-Person” connections. A most basic form of human interaction. We meet someone, we bond, or we don’t. The meeting can be strictly utilitarian, a passing connection never to be entered again. Like the one you might experience at an airport restaurant or checkpoint.
Or the meeting can lead to something more lasting. Whatever the purpose of the meeting, what happens in that initial instant can leave a lasting impact.
A recent article on Entrepreneur.com stated “Increasingly, investors look at customer retention to determine whether an entrepreneur’s product or service will ultimately succeed in the marketplace.”
Colleges and universities focus on student retention. While reasons students remain at a school are as varied as the students themselves, factors such as quality of course work, affordability, feeling of connectedness with the campus and classmates, and quality of facilities and experiences contribute to overall satisfaction.
Alessandra Ghini, helped Apple and Starbucks market their products. She said in a recent interview, “We focused on the moment of connection, whether it’s a barista knowing your name, or you having a quiet moment over coffee with a friend.”
Every relationship is a story waiting to happen; a story waiting to be written.
We just changed our home cable service, in part, due to great customer service by one company, and not so impressive customer connection by another.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I walked into a local national/franchised sandwich store here at the beach. Here is the story that staff created that day. They mumbled a scripted hello as we walked through the door barely making eye contact or showing any authentic emotion. One thing led to another and we finally requested a refund and walked out. Later that night I posted about our poor service and received the following email from some company representative. It appears here verbatim without any edits by me (except that I did remove the company name from the email):
Mr.Steve, i am sorry to hear that your last visit wasn’t a pleasant experience. we understand the service wasn’t adequate or up to par with [company name] standards. we will make sure this never happens to you or any of our customers again. we would love to keep you as a customer and keep you returning to our restaurant. we hope that we get to see you in the future, cause we wont allow this to be a reoccuring problem. if you have any questions or would like to speak to the manager. fell free to call with and concerns or questions. we will be happy to provide you with the service you just seemed to lack on your last visit.
Hmm. A typical non-response response (and more). I also received a tweet in another company correspondence stating “we would like to make this right. We have notified the District Manager. We hope you give us another chance.”
Never heard another thing from the company. I assume they will do what they said. But the company wrote the end of that story for me.
The barista who knows your name and drink order makes a connection and begins a story. The non-attentive (or poorly-trained) staff also create a story. Two different beginnings creating two different endings.
Every interaction creates a story. Some short. Some long-lasting. Some forgettable. Some memorable.
You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.
(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.