Recently I posted “Connecting with Customers” and I mentioned that it made me think a lot. It made me think about a lot of different issues both personal and business and one in particular is the idea of relationships and business. More specifically, customer relationships. These relationships have evolved tremendously over the years. When my parents and grandparents were kids the majority of the businesses were small owned by regular people in the community. You had the local grocery store, the butcher shop, barber shop, candy store; the list goes on and on. The business owners had a strong relationship with the customers and new them on first name basis. That’s just the way it was and there was a stronger sense of community.
We still had some of that when I was growing up too but there were a lot more chains and the big box stores were starting to replace the smaller department stores. You no longer knew the owners personally. You might have known some of the employees because they were neighbors or friends but the intimate connection was lost. The store managers didn’t even know your name and the disconnection began and the relationships shifted. Of course, this didn’t happen overnight, it was a process and the community accepted the change because it was just part of the process of growth and is inevitable in a capitalistic society with such a large population.
So it is what it is and businesses owners can no longer have the same relationships as the past. Connections have been lost but with the evolution of business there comes the evolution of technology. Just as the internet changed the landscape of business so too has social media. Now we have a new way to connect and our customers become fans, followers, tweeple, plus ones and they join groups and circles and hangout. Isn’t it fun? The community is back. In cyberspace albeit but is back by golly. OK, so it’s not the same I know. But like business, it is what it is and why fight it. I must admit I was skeptical and slow to jump on the social media train with Go-Go Babyz. After all, I have more important things to do, I have a business to run. I have Wagons to make, strollers to design, diaper bags to ship, baby carriers to pack and Travelmates to sell.
Then it hit me; I need to embrace the social media because my customers do and that is how I can connect and interact with them. The importance hit me straight in the face because I realized that it is another way to build and nurture the most important relationships to Go-Go Babyz. I will be the first to admit that we are not perfect at it but I will assure you that when you interact with Go-Go Babyz, 99.9% of the time you are interacting with one of the owners. We are the voice and personality behind what you see. It may not be the same as walking in to the local shop of years past and having the owner walk out and greet you by your first name and help you choose the best product for your needs but it is something.
VP & Dad