Build customer loyalty, with pretending that there is a relationship between customers and the organization
Delivering good products and services has long been thought to create loyal, repurchasing customers.
Adding a loyalty program or two and customers should be even more satisfied, right?
Products and services are merely the basis of commercial exchange.
For organisations to build valuable, long lasting relationships with their customers they should enable two-way, mutual interactions.
Livework has collaborated with the Delft University of Technology and SiR – a research partner on service integrated relationships – to develop a framework and tooling to design for relationships
Build customer loyalty, without pretending that there is a relationship between customers and the organization
Paper: Distinguishing between service relationships and encounters.
Abstract: In 3 separate studies, the authors developed measures of different social mechanisms used in the interaction between a customer and a service provider and examined their effects. Service relationships occur when a customer has repeated contact with the same provider. Service encounters occur when the customer interacts with a different provider each time. Service pseudorelationships are a particular kind of encounter in which a customer interacts with a different provider each time, but within a single company. The 3 studies showed consistently that customers having a service relationship with a specific provider had more service interactions and were more satisfied than those who did not have one. These results held across 7 different service areas, 3 diverse samples, and 2 different ways of measuring a service relationship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved
Book: The Brave New Service Strategy: Aligning Customer Relationships, Market Strategies, and Business Structures Hardcover – March 7, 2000
From the Amazon reviews
It is possible to build customer loyalty, without pretending that there is a relationship between customers and the organization, say the authors. The better strategy, is to build on the strengths of encounters (speed, convenience, low-cost service, familiarity and uniformity) rather than attempting to build a pseudo-relationship that the customer will know is inauthentic. The goal is to create “enhanced encounters” not “pseudo-relationships.”
Enhanced encounters emphasize five essential qualities:
1. Trust: In enhanced encounters trust is built by repeated positive service.
2. Convenience: The service should be available for the maximum number of hours with the minimum amount of waiting.
3. Customized, not Personalized: As many choices as possible should be open to the customer, without impeding efficiency of service.
4. Uniform but Unique: Whenever possible, the encounter should establish a theme with wide appeal to customers.
5. Quality: Emphasize quality whenever possible.
April 22, 2000
For example, Chapter One “looks at customer perceptions of some common practices that result from mistaken ideas about what constitutes a relationship.” Chapter Five identifies several different types of encounter and then examines one specific kind: “when the individual service provider is replaced by a machine.” In Chapter Ten, the final chapter, the authors bring the reader back to the central question (ie What are the basic causes of customer dissatisfaction and how can they be avoided or eliminated?), then discuss “the trends that will be important for success in the years beyond 2000.”
As technological connectivity rapidly and extensively replaces so much of direct human interaction, it is imperative to understand the differences (as well as the implications of those differences) between an encounter with a customer and a relationship with a customer. Gutek and Welsh have made an invaluable contribution to our understanding of those differences…and to our understanding of how to achieve and then sustain enhanced relationships with those whom we are privileged to serve.
April 27, 2001