Some people wish they were born in a different era, but I never have. Connecting with information and other people has never been more convenient.
Yesterday at 10 p.m., I was surfing Amazon’s site. I’m sure you know this, but their review system is amazing. My post-U.S. relocation wish list for a couple months from now is steadily growing. It is just so easy to find products for which there is a lot of enthusiasm.
The system has great algorithms which not only match popular items with your search from different categories of goods, but also present cross-sell opportunities for frequently bought together items. They also have killer logistics; a lot of sunk cost in warehouses that makes them difficult to compete with, etc. A full 20% of the U.S. population even has the premium Amazon Prime membership.
Maybe the most critical thing though driving trust in Amazon is the human connection. The reviews are, or feel like they are written by other consumers sitting at home just like you. According to Nielson, people trust recommendations from friends and family more than anything else. While someone in Biloxi, Des Moines, or San Jose might not be your friend, it can and does feel closer to it than B2C marketing. Amazon backs this up post-purchase as well with great customer service.
Companies need to be personable and available if they want to create a feeling of loyalty and build relationships. Your customer service must at least be good, though ideally it would be great, and you should be able to respond to consumer needs not only by phone but over the internet as well.
Though it’s probably not the best place to air out a major issue, it’s important to have social media presence as well to allow customers to connect with you, your people, and your brand. These relationships can drive revenue over the long-term, which is healthier and ultimately far more cost-effective than repeatedly finding new customers.
Relationships have never been easier to maintain with users, and if we aren’t already we have to take advantage of all the available channels for the betterment of business and consumer.