The Relationship Paradox: Don’t Risk Extinction by Playing It Safe

For thousands of years, we had only two options for communicating with other humans: face-to-face conversations or the written word. The synchronous option required everyone to be in the same cave so that they could hear Neil talk about the mastodon that Steve’s hunting party killed. The asynchronous option required someone to have a rock to scratch the words “Meet at Steve’s” onto the cave wall so the kids knew where to get lunch.

These are the same two options we have today.  But the delivery systems have changed—we’ve upgraded to more sophisticated caves. Letter writing was once an art worthy of collecting in leather-bound volumes. Imagine sending a hand-written letter to your nephew today. How would we know how to open it? Those hand-written letters largely disappeared with the adoption of electronic mail. And email’s glory days came to a screeching halt at the hands of chat and SMS. My 14-year-old daughter receives 53% of her human interactions through Instagram. And it’s difficult to predict which channels we’ll use next.

All these delivery systems worked because they complement—instead of competing with—our humanity. Too much technology and the instincts that draw us together aren’t fully engaged, and connections don’t happen. The predicted adoption of chatbots turned out to be far overstated, as consumers ruled that a complete removal of the human touch is not the way forward. Humans like more humanity in their conversations.

When you’re tasked with delivering a customer experience, it can be challenging to walk that line—never knowing where the means of communication will travel next. The winds of change are strong; if you aren’t flexible enough to be wherever conversations are happening, you’ll look like you’re trying to write that letter to your nephew. You lose the ability to make the human connections that make us whole. You become irrelevant.

The Customer Relationships Paradox

There’s a paradox: To build customer loyalty, it’s crucial to harness the power of the personal relationship—a power that’s thousands of years old. But you can only do that by staying modern with the latest skills and tools.

“Playing it safe” in this situation is the most dangerous move you can make. It’s human nature to gravitate toward what’s comfortable, to grasp tighter onto the familiar. I’ve heard the protest, “We can’t disrespect the horse that got us here.” But what happens when that horse isn’t fit to carry you forward? And who rides horses anymore?

Building relationships with customers means meeting them on their terms. No one will adopt a new way of communicating to have a conversation with you. We adopt the method of communicating first, and then we expect others to use it.

To stay competitive, you need specialized expertise and guidance to continuously follow the conversation wherever it goes—year after year. That’s why we launched PureSuccess in early 2018 for customers using the Genesys® PureEngageTM and PureConnectTM platforms by subscription. And that’s why we’re extending PureSuccess to our PureCloud® customers this winter,  encompassing everything we do.

Navigating this landscape can feel overwhelming, but no journey is impossible if you have the right guide. If your customer experience provider doesn’t have a solid plan for illuminating a path to your success, you might find yourself scratching lunch invitations on cave walls. To learn about the Winter Release Innovations, review the guide.

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