The Long and Winding Road : It’s always been H2H

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Liverpool

It’s always been H2H…

Recently many people using Twitter and Google+ will have seen the utterances from ‘@bryankramer’ declaring that B2C and B2B are passée. In fact he says that they are ’no more’ and it is only ‘human 2 human’. Bold words indeed but I disagree.

I think we have over the recent past focused far too much on the technology that delivers our messages and in doing so have put the emotional connection element of our business to one side. Understandably , we have been in awe of the immense novelty and complexity of the software used to pre-empt our every move, we have been like rabbits in the headlights of progress. Ask any successful company and they will tell you that their best customers are the ones with whom they have a relationship, relationships grown from emotional contact and burgeoning understanding of wants, needs and desires. Think about the people we work with, socialise with and respect and the chances are that they are people with whom we have some deeper connection that just the practical element of work.

While the sentiment is true, the H2H idea is perhaps more of a wake-up call than it is a definitive moment in socially based business. It more clearly defines the need to make sure that the human element is not forgotten and serves to attest to the power of technology in our lives. The old 1960’s films predicting the soulless wastelands of high tech cultures where people are numbers before they are people is sadly not a mile away from the way many people conduct business

True to say there are many hugely successful businesses that never see their customers and never talk to them but they are the businesses where emotion is not needed and cost is the driver, things like car insurance, consumables etc. Surely there is a place for unemotional business but the vast majority of us need and indeed want human contact at some point in any purchasing decision

Personally speaking, I have refused to purchase on many occasions because I found the humans at the other end so objectionable despite having to pay more elsewhere. Cutting one’s nose off to spite the face is still a force in retail and it really remains the last bastion of free-will in our ever decreasing sphere of influence in the world today

I fully understand Bryan Kramer’s viewpoint but can’t help wondering if it is motivated by initiating this season’s new buzzword than it is by shedding insight at a deep level. I think the message from the whole H2H idea is this:

‘never forget that the human at the other end of the line needs to be acknowledged and listened to no matter what… the first sale is easy but the second, third and fourth need emotion’.

see you on the long and winding road….. Patrick

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