Customer relations have evolved over the past few decades. About twenty to thirty years ago, all one needed to do was to get in front of the customer. Those were the times when sales skills were paramount. You knock at the door, the potential client comes out, you make your sales pitch, and depending on how good your pitch was, if they had the money, they bought your product. Those were the times when attention and time could be taken for granted.
Years later, with improvement in technology and creative adverts, attention became scarce. Now you have a lot of adverts on TV, and plenty jingles on radio, all fighting for the attention of the potential customer. This was the period where brands spend millions of dollars creating the best visually stimulating advert, hoping it would catch the attention of the customer before sales could be made.
Now, attention and time has become scarce. Customers are no longer looking to be sold. They are interested in relationships, in friendships and in community. This is the reason why social media networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram all have in excess of one billion members. Why? Because social media caters for that need of building community.
Community breeds trust, and this is because it’s relational. Brands are not just seeking to sell but to be friends. They commune with their clients, and from trust, loyalty is developed.
One of the best ways to develop community is by making use of community based networks such as social media, because these are where the clients are.