The art of being intimate — and why it matters today
Q&A with Mayur Ramgir
Mayur Ramgir has seen it too many times with the brands he works with. When a company first starts out, it is likely to know its customers on a first name basis. But as it grows, it loses that personal touch. The company, more often than not, starts marketing its brand with one too many strategies.
More and more brands today are taking note of the significant difference made when they make an effort to add another layer of value for their customers. But, Ramgir admits that achieving customer intimacy is easier said than done.
In the Technology Age, Ramgir believes that one of the true keys to success is maintaining a valued level of intimacy with your customers. The serial-entrepreneur, award-winning author and founder of Zonopact says that building intimacy with your customers is the best way to keep them coming back for more, as well as getting more customers in the door.
We caught up to Ramgir to get this thoughts on the art of building intimacy and why brands of any size must make this a daily priority.
What is the true importance of customer intimacy?
Customer-intimate businesses bring a fresh new perspective and are able to get closer to their clients. These personal relationships enable businesses to deliver better customer satisfaction, by providing services that are tailored to their needs. A customer-intimate business can detect unsuspected problems before they arise, recognize unrealized potential and create synergistic relationships. Sadly, there are many businesses out there that have not been able to create the environment that allows them to scale intimatcy.
What have been the roadblocks?
There are many factors. While technology has turned into an indispensable tool for businesses, it has also proven to be a bane when it comes to scaling intimacy. Traditionally, businesses have relied heavily on technology and innovation to gain a competitive edge. But this integration of relentless technological advancements, coupled with global competition, has shifted the focus from customer intimacy to service. And while this service-focused competitive strategy has worked well for some companies, there are numerous others that have fallen short of achieving real value creation.
How do we connect with a consumer that can hide behind technology?
Nowadays, consumers can buy just about anything online. With a simple click of a button, we can order items and book services from the comfort of our homes, without even knowing what the owner of the store looks like. While this process has made it extremely easy for consumers to buy what they need within the least amount of time, it doesn’t do much from the business’s point of view, since they are unable to develop an emotional bond with their customers.
In a way, technology has created a wall between companies and their customers, which keeps businesses from enjoying the intimate relationship one would experience when visiting any brick and mortar store. While using technology allows businesses to send emails and newsletters di-rectly to their customers' inbox, it cannot be compared to the one-on-one experience of a face-to-face engagement.
What is the secret to success in building trusting relationships?
Trust and respect are two pillars of any business strategy, because without it, there would not be a reason to move any further toward creating new outlets or offering more products on your existing website. If your customers don't trust you, or feel they are not being respected, your business is as good as dead.
How do we build that bridge today?
When it comes to building a level of customer intimacy, businesses have to focus on the little things, as these make their customers feel like they are getting the attention they deserve. The key to success in providing intimacy is to make it a priority—a core business value—which in turn will lead to a solid reputation for great customer service.