Olof Schybergson, the CEO of service design company Fjord, posted a fascinating article on FastCoDesign discussing the three stages of love and how they can help you improve your service. According to him, a person’s relationship with a service is comparable to one’s relationship with another person. It begins, it evolves, and then it either ends or lasts for a very long time. And what spells between a short-lived love affair and an epic love story?
A truly deep personal connection, one that anticipates and understands what a person needs by paying attention to what they like, what they don’t like, and what they value, makes love long-lasting. This means offering somebody something that’s open to change and improvement. This also means calibrating the way you interact with the person depending on the stage of your relationship.
Be too aggressive at the beginning, and people will get turned off. Fail to give incentives midway through, and people will get bored.
It works for human beings, and it works for the products and services we subscribe to. That’s why you, as a businessman, should keep in mind these relationship stages, and what they entail:
The First Impression
They say that first impressions last, and it really is true. When a person meets you for the first time, you either pique their interest or you don’t. If you do, then it could be the beginning of a long-lasting association. If you don’t, then it’s over before it even began.
When you create a product or service for people, you need to make sure that you have something that will get their attention and intrigue them enough to want to know more. One great way to do this is to have a very unique selling proposition that many would find appealing. Take VoIP services for example – there are tons of them out there. But more people are paying attention to RingCentral right now because they offer small businesses all the professional phone system features they need PLUS a convenient touch platform.
Getting to Know Each Other
Getting to know each other, otherwise known as “dating” is the point in a relationship where people try to figure out how compatible they really are. After all, attraction can only take you so far. You need to find points of connection and strengthen the initial engagement. You need to show values beyond the initial appeal.
In the case of businesses, this period is the trial period. Potential buyers either subscribe to a service temporarily or try out a product to see how it works, so you need to make the experience of your offerings as enjoyable and convenient as possible. One of the best ways to go about this is to apply game elements to your system or product. For example, CRM platform SalesForce allows its users within an organization to compete for the top spot on a leader board showing performance improvement using the platform. This detail appeals to the competitive agents using it.
Once attraction and long-term engagement has been confirmed and established, people are willing to commit to another person in the long run. They promise loyalty, with the expectation of reciprocation.
Despite what many businessmen think, this is not the end. This is the beginning. At this point, you have to prove that you are worthy of a customer’s commitment by offering a consistently high quality of product, service, and engagement. The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company, for example, has inspired customer loyalty through quality products and excellent branding that allows people to identify with them.
To make customers fall in love with your business, in other words, you need to always be the right company for them.