The 'Personal Connection', a potent business tool

By Guest Author|18th Jun 2013
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“We are highly personalized in what we do”. This one is an oft heard phrase in many a pitch made to customers because it does create a selling impact (or so it is believed).The personal connection is everywhere you go these days. It is what highly successful brands boast about. It’s what customer servicing is all about. It is what marketing and the packaging of the service or product is all about. But is it just that? A brand value positioning tool, an utility to engage and create batches of loyal customers and other stakeholders?To be precise is it just a business tool?

To know is it or is it not let us have a look at a simple case. (Diverging from the oft found examples of startups and organizations here).

The Dabbawallas Of Mumbai: The Dabbawallas of Mumbai are today known as an epitome of service quality and excellence. One of the most trusted complex delivery systems in the world, executed as simple as that, the Dabbawallas are now the subject of case studies for business studies the world around.

The Dabbawallas service thousands of people who depend on them to have their lunches on time, prepared lovingly at home. In doing so this system is acting upon a business chain that is complicated and typically a delivery business. But the reason they are trusted isn’t because it is an efficient delivery business organization. The reason numerous families trust them today is because of their commitment to have people fed on time.

In delivering food from home in front of the individual at the time when he/she is used to having lunch, the Dabbawallas are creating a personal connection with their customers via food (the most personal of connections), but in doing so they aren’t doing it because they want to execute some jargon like service excellence, personalized branding etc (which people like me rant about). The timely delivery is a result of their understanding that people love it when they can have their food on time and an understanding of when their individual customers have lunch.

In short personal connection at its best even before you start talking business.

As such the personal connection definitely isn’t just a business tool.

But then, that’s just me and not a collective opinion that speaks here. However if you have ever been privy to any of the following instances:

  1. As an employer, you have seen one of your brightestemployees being very sincere, working with all the correct combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes but still failing to hit the mark and getting all frustrated about it to a point of almost no return. And then you have sat down with him/her, with a pat on the back and a smile that says, “no big deal, it’s going to work out”. And soon enough the efforts start materializing into results.
  2. As part of an organization you have dealt with clients or even your co-employees talking to them, relating to their issues and tried helping out even beyond your official requirements. More often than not the client would have returned back to you and your organization with a sincere belief that you are what works for them and their business.
  3. As an individual you have tried doing things for your kindly neighbours, an old lady across the street, the kids who play on your porch and others when you are not required to, and you suddenly get the brightest of smiles when you walk up to people.
  4. As a startup player you have held your values high, serviced with dedication, toiled and laboured with your team instead of just directing them, talked and responded to your customers personally instead of auto generated replies and slowly you start getting the mail feeds from clients and customers telling you how happy they are with you and what you have built, you get a team that sits and toils with you (without a hint of complaint) and hey presto, your product/service is a hit.

Then you too have already starred in the people connection and even if you don’t realize it, you believe in it as a value and not just a business tool or utility and the same people connection is what bolsters your sweet success.

This is so because when you start establishing a personal connection in everything you do and stand for,in essence you start building a relation that relates to what you do (the same way you relate to it) and does so with a good will that stays with your business as well as with your very existence and is what will make you and your efforts a success.

This relation stays true for almost everything relative to startups as well as larger entities including product/services development, employer-employee relations, customer/client relations, brand development and all other terminologies and processes involved in the life cycle of whatever you do.

Of course when you invest your time and persona into developing the personal connection, you might be scoffed at, branded as a fool but that’s hardly worth a bother because on a broader level the personal connection always creates a good feeling around everything you do, be it while you develop your product/service, brand your efforts, build a great team or develop your individual good self.

And in the longer run that good old feeling always works.

So are you and me creating the good old feeling with what we do?I for one would love to know.

About The Author:

Rupam is a startup addict working with FindYogi, a consumer web product from Bangalore based startup Wowway Labs. He can be found here and followed at @rupamRg

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