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Book Summary: The Relationship Economy – Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age

The more digitalized our lives become, the more we risk losing the ability to maintain genuine human connections. The proliferation of robotic and remote online interactions makes the capacity to form human relationships an essential business skill.

Book Summary: The Relationship Economy - Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age

This book summary explains how businesses can forge an impregnable competitive advantage by putting relationships at the center of their business strategy.

What’s inside?

Relationship-centric businesses gain a unique, competitive advantage in a technology-based world.

Content Summary

Genres
Recommendation
Take-Aways
Summary
About the author
Table of Contents
Overview
Read an Excerpt
Review

Genres

Business, Money, Industries, Self-Help, Non-fiction, Sociology, Careers, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Public Relations, Customer relations, Management, Interpersonal relations, Economic aspects, Relationship marketing

Recommendation

Don’t confuse digital connectivity with human connection, cautions business consultant John DiJulius. The proliferation of robotic and remote online interactions makes the capacity to form human relationships an essential business skill. Master that ability and deliver exceptional customer service to forge an impregnable competitive advantage. According to DiJulius, putting relationships at the center of your business strategy is the formula for success in the digital age.

Take-Aways

  • Technological advances have forever changed how people communicate and interact.
  • Companies must concentrate on customer service and building relationships to survive and thrive.
  • Technology improves many aspects of business, but often at the expense of customer service.
  • FORD – “family, occupation, recreation, dreams” – provides a conversational template for getting to know other people.
  • Few leaders develop strategies or implement programs to teach employees how to build and improve relationships.
  • Become a trusted adviser to defend against losing a client to a competitor.
  • When customers know, trust and like you, they are more forgiving of mistakes.
  • Everyone yearns for validation, acknowledgment and the chance to contribute to something meaningful.
  • The more effort people put into interacting with your business, the greater the likelihood that they will leave the minute they find a more convenient option.

Summary

Technological advances have forever changed how people communicate and interact.

Connecting digitally through computers, smartphones and tablets has led to the rapid erosion of social skills. E-commerce means people shop at fewer physical locations and communicate digitally when considering or making a purchase. Feeling isolated, they yearn for personal acknowledgment. Competitors can replicate innovations before you establish an advantage and technological breakthroughs may disrupt long-standing industries. Customer relationships are the ultimate differentiator and defense. Improve your relationship-building skills by:

  • Being authentic – Genuine interest in others always engages.
  • Being obsessively curious – Curiosity about other people is irresistible.
  • Being a great listener – Focus, ask questions, make eye contact and don’t interrupt.
  • Practicing “incredible empathy” – Take someone else’s perspective to better understand their experiences.
  • Choosing to “love people” – Love helps you serve and cherish your fellow human beings.

“Those who understand that human touch is the most important part of a great customer experience will flourish. Success is increasingly about creating and building human connections.”

Build a culture of trust and connection between customers, employees and other company stakeholders. Smart businesses recognize the value of each individual and include them in a supportive, empowering community.

Companies must concentrate on customer service and building relationships to survive and thrive.

The World Economic Forum predicts that machines will outnumber humans in the workforce by 2025, and an Oxford University study concludes that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace almost half of white-collar jobs in the United States. AI bots handle customer service requests more cheaply, quickly and efficiently than humans. The one thing computers and AI cannot do is engage and empathize with customers.

“It is imperative that every person in your company understands that your biggest expense is dissatisfied customers.”

Nurture the “service aptitude” of every employee in your organization. Companies lose more money through poor customer service than through any other issue. For example, when United Airlines workers dragged a passenger off a plane in 2017, a video of the skirmish gained international attention, forcing the airline to issue a public apology.

Make customer service the responsibility of every employee on every team. To become a first-rate customers service organization, appoint a CXO – Chief Experience Officer – or CCO – Chief Customer Officer – to “own” and sponsor the commitment.

Technology improves many aspects of business, but often at the expense of customer service.

Emphasis on technological advances sends the message to employees that customer service is a secondary priority. Basic human interaction is in decline. The generations weaned on digital interaction lack the people skills of previous generations. Consequently, businesses must work to develop the traits in employees that facilitate superior customer service. These skills include “compassion, empathy, engagement and warmth,” giving others the benefit of the doubt, and a drive to serve and excel.

“The most memorable customer experiences are the ones where an emotional connection was made, where both customer and employee felt something.”

Digital devices launched society into the “Touch-Screen Age.” People connect easily through social media, but the connection lacks depth and authenticity. You may have hundreds of Facebook friends, and your Instagram posts may garner dozens of likes, yet you feel lonely and isolated. Addiction to social media damages mental health. Heavy users may suffer “digital dementia”: cognitive and memory deterioration that mimics a brain injury. Young people are particularly susceptible to the lure of social media and “mental stimulation addiction” (MSA) is widespread. Social media junkies suffer shorter attention spans and cognitive decline.

“Downtime and a relaxed mental state are the best environments for our mind to veer off from mainstream thought patterns and venture into the unknown.”

Technology overuse suppresses creativity. When you’re always on your smartphone or other digital devices, you brain doesn’t have the quiet time to work on ideas and solve nagging problems. A USC study showed that heavy social media users displayed less creativity and imagination in finding solutions to big problems. Detox from digital technology by using screen-time apps to set daily limits, switching off devices for a set time each day or committing to technology quiet times, such as before breakfast or bedtime.

FORD – “family, occupation, recreation, dreams” – provides a conversational template for getting to know other people.

Forge connections by giving others the gift of your undivided attention. Use the acronym FORD – “family, occupation, recreation, dreams” – to maintain focus on your conversational partner, ask questions and build a relationship. Collect “customer intelligence” by going beyond personal information to learn what makes customers tick. Create FORD files on customers – a record of information that humanizes transactions. For example, if a customer reschedules an appointment due to a conflict with her daughter’s soccer championship, ask about the game the next time she comes in.

“When we truly empathize with others, we come as close to reading minds as humans can get.”

Superior listeners participate in the conversation by asking relevant questions, conveying empathy, being accountable, offering suggestions and sharing their own stories. Approaching each interaction as an opportunity to build a relationship promotes productive conversation.

Few leaders develop strategies or implement programs to teach employees how to build and improve relationships.

Strong, authentic relationships are crucial to company success. FORD systems are a great first step in the process. Design the system so it’s relatively inexpensive, easy to execute, does not burden productivity, and surprises and delights customers. Track, record and reward the results of FORD initiatives to motivate and engage employees. For example, the Canadian insurance company Benson Kearley offered an incentive to encourage account executives to follow up on what they learned about customers through FORD. Each participant received a $25 monthly allowance. If a customer mentioned an upcoming birthday, for instance, the account executive would use the allowance to send champagne or flowers.

“Highly empathic people have an insatiable curiosity about strangers. They will talk to the person sitting next to them on the bus.”

Never assume employees know how to engage positively with customers. To teach them how, introduce the “Five Es” approach. The Five Es are: “eye contact, ear-to-ear smile, enthusiastic greeting, engage” and “educate.” The “3-2-1” strategy maintains relationships. Every week send clients three emails, two cards and make one client phone call.

Become a trusted adviser to defend against losing a client to a competitor.

Vendors, advisers and consultants, and independent contractors in the business-to-business (B2B) sector must know as much as possible about their clients’ businesses and industries. Remember, another company can always outbid you. Your only defense against losing an account is becoming indispensable to your client.

“The more people feel like they cannot live without your brand, the closer you are to making price irrelevant.”

Consistently demonstrate that you care, are knowledgeable and will always help your clients, without demanding something in return. Earn your client’s trust in the following ways:

  • Show clients you love your job and that your passion for the work is genuine.
  • Build a relationship that goes beyond the transaction into the personal.
  • Make client success your top priority.
  • Gain a complete understanding of client goals and the challenges they face.
  • Become expert in your field and never stop learning.
  • When the inevitable screw-up happens, be honest and transparent.
  • Share your resources and help clients make connections beneficial to their businesses.

“Falling in love with your brand is not possible until the customer feels that they are the most important person in the relationship, and that it is all about them.”

Only through consistent, long-term effort will you gain “social capital” – an invaluable asset. Unlike networking, which is transactional, social capital results from relationships that seek no quid pro quo. View yourself as a “connector”: someone who brings people together with their objectives in mind. Offer service and provide value without expecting payback. Once clients like and trust you, you no longer compete solely on price. They stay with you because of the experience and expertise they rely on and enjoy with your company.

When customers know, trust and like you, they are more forgiving of mistakes.

Although it may feel counterintuitive, problems are opportunities to strengthen relationships. For example, a hairdresser inadvertently spilled hair dye on a customer’s blazer. When the woman complained, the owner reimbursed her $250 for the suit and gave her a gift certificate. This so impressed the woman that she referred 18 new customers to the salon over the next year.

“The one area you can get a distinct competitive advantage is by out-loving the businesses you compete against.”

Make “everything is our problem” part of your customer service philosophy. Rather than placing blame, focus on solving the problem so it doesn’t negatively affect customer expectations or experience. For example, a father and son waited for almost an hour in line for a Disney ride, only to discover that the boy was too short to safely take the ride. When the boy started to cry, a young Disney employee gave him a certificate that enabled him to cut the line when he was tall enough. This became the highlight of his trip and the certificate remained on the refrigerator until the child put it to use. The employee took it upon himself to make the customer feel better.

Everyone yearns for validation, acknowledgment and the chance to contribute to something meaningful.

One mantra of the US navy is “Ship, Shipmate, Self.” This motto functions as a measurement of a leader’s success subordinating his or her own interests in the service of the company and its employees. Millennials understand this concept; they seek a higher purpose than simply collecting a paycheck.

Herb Kelleher, the late co-founder and CEO of Southwest Airlines, kindled his employees’ admiration, devotion and respect. Forbes writers Kevin and Jackie Freiberg attribute this legacy to Kelleher’s active listening and motivational skills.

The more effort people put into interacting with your business, the greater the likelihood that they will leave the minute they find a more convenient option.

Transferring customers from one customer service representative to another, making them repeat information or wait doesn’t engender a positive customer service experience. People expect and demand quick responses to emails and phone calls, and speedy resolutions to issues.

“They say you can’t buy time, but today’s consumers are using their disposable income to do just that.”

To attract customers, for example, Best Buy offers areas where children can play the newest games. Starbucks recently opened Starbucks Reserve: a high-end coffee shop for tastings and limited offerings.

“At the end of the day, ask yourself one simple question: ‘How many people had a better day as a result of coming in contact with me?’”

Delivering the expected is not enough to create customer loyalty. Retaining customers results from providing repeat, helpful “micro experiences”: small, positive interactions with the business or brand. Train employees that they’re “always on stage,” to raise awareness about how they influence customers during every interaction.

About the author

Founder of the salon chain John Robert’s Spa and the DiJulius Group, John DiJulius also wrote Secret Service: Hidden Systems That Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service and What’s the Secret? To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience.

John DiJulius is the authority on world-class customer experience, organizations across America use his philosophies and systems for creating world-class service. He has worked with companies such as the The Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Panera Bread, Nestle, Marriott Hotel, PWC, National City Bank, Cheesecake Factory, Progressive Insurance, Harley Davidson, State Farm, Chick-fil-a, and many more, to help them continue to raise the bar and set the standard in service that consistently exceeds customer expectations.

Table of Contents

1. WELCOME TO THE RELATIONSHIP ECONOMY,
2. STATE OF SERVICE,
3. HUMANIZING OUR FUTURE,
4. THE TOUCH-SCREEN AGE,
5. MEET AS STRANGERS, LEAVE AS FRIENDS,
6. THE RELATIONSHIP ECONOMY IN ACTION,
7. BE THE BRAND CUSTOMERS CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT,
8. BE THE BRAND EMPLOYEES CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT,
9. ARE YOU BEING DISRUPTED OR ARE YOU THE DISRUPTOR?,
10. CARPE MOMENTO,
11. GIVE MORE,
NOTES,
INDEX,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,

Overview

Creating Authentic Customer Connections in a High-Tech World

In The Relationship Economy, author John DiJulius teaches business leaders about the importance of relationship building in the digital age. He argues that in spite of (and because of) the advances in tech, we’ve become a less connected society. We have dramatically evolved away from face-to-face communication, and the skill of building rapport is evaporating. This means that customer personalization and relationships are more important now than ever–and they will be the key to success for businesses moving forward. As he aptly states, “Being able to build true sustainable relationships is the biggest competitive advantage in a world where automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are eliminating the human experience, which is what creates the emotional connections that build true customer loyalty.” This book reminds readers of the importance of personal connections and shows them how to attain meaningful, lasting relationships with their customers.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

WELCOME TO THE RELATIONSHIP ECONOMY

“Today’s illiterate are those who have an inability to truly make a deep connection with others.”

Since I was old enough to remember, my life’s obsession was to play shortstop for the Cleveland Indians. I worked at it. I was committed and passionate, and nothing was going to stop me. Except for maybe the lack of a little talent or, in my case, the lack of a lot of talent. No matter how hard I worked, there was absolutely no way I was ever going to play in the big leagues. There are certain genetic skills we are either born with or not. And if not, there is not much we can do about it.

There is one that when mastered will, without question, have the biggest impact on us personally and professionally. That skill is the ability to build an instant connection with others.

There are skills we can develop, however, and of all these, there is one that when mastered will, without question, have the biggest impact on us personally and professionally. That skill is the ability to build an instant connection with others. This is way more than a mere communications skill. It is the ability to communicate with a purpose — to build your community at every stage of your life. Building a relationship with someone else, whether an acquaintance, friend, customer, coworker, or a total stranger, is far and away the most important skill every human being should be taught at an early age and then should hone throughout life. This skill should be taught at home, in school from pre-kindergarten to graduate school, and, of course, in business. Unfortunately it is rarely taught in any formal way.

The Lost Art of Building Rapport

Today we are living in the “digital disruption era.” Technology has provided us with unprecedented advances, information, knowledge, instant access, and entertainment. We have computers, mobile phones, tablets, the internet, social media, apps, and artificial intelligence — assistants like Siri and Alexa, chatbots, virtual concierges, facial recognition, and self-driving cars.

However, as convenient as these advances make our lives, they also have changed the way we communicate, behave, and think and have led to a dramatic decline in our people skills. As a society we are now relationship disadvantaged. We no longer become curious about others or eager to engage in conversations. The younger generation primarily communicates electronically, and the explosion of ecommerce means we go out less and less. In business, multi- channel communication has dramatically reduced phone calls to companies; customers can get answers and place orders via email, on websites, or through social media channels.

The pendulum has swung over to high tech and low touch. Consequently we long for a sense of community, belonging, and purpose, a world in which people actually know our name, what we do, what is important to us, and have trust in one another. Today trust is an endangered value. Those who understand that human touch is the most important part of any experience — especially a great customer experience — will flourish. Personally and professionally, success is increasingly about creating and building human connections.

Those who understand that human touch is the most important part of a great customer experience will flourish. Success is increasingly about creating and building human connections.

The Benefits of Strong Connections

When you have the ability to make an instant connection, get people to instantly like you, make them feel comfortable, and fully develop relationships of all kinds, you are likely to have more fulfillment and success. I cannot think of anything that will give you a bigger advantage in all aspects of your life — that includes higher self-esteem, a larger network, greater support system, and more resources. Your personal and professional life will be filled with an abundance of people who think highly of you, love you, and have your back.

People who have key relationships and positive influences in their life are usually less stressed because they have someone they can talk to, vent to, and confide in when life gets tough. And it is just as rewarding to be a positive influencer for others — to have others rely on you.

Lives can be changed for the better because the right friendships can make a difference in someone’s life at a critical point. In an interview with Tom Bilyeu on his series Impact Theory, author Simon Sinek said, “Those relationships that we foster over the course of a lifetime … will oftentimes save your life. They will save you from depression. They will save you from giving up, they will save you from any matter of negative feelings about your capabilities, your own future, when someone just says I love you and I will follow you no matter what.”

People with strong relationships have a greater potential for more professional success, are less impacted by corporate politics, laugh more, and experience less depression. Research has shown that social engagement and meaningful relationships are associated with living a longer life and improving your overall health. The flip side is also true: Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the lead author of a study that reviewed and analyzed research in this area, noted, “A lack of social relationships was equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.”

A lack of social relationships was equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.

Studies have repeatedly shown that the happiest people are the ones with the most meaningful relationships. Yet it seems to have become increasingly difficult to maintain these relationships. Too often we are guilty of treating the people we come in contact with as part of a transaction or as a private audience for us. We miss out on an opportunity to make a deeper connection that can potentially enrich both lives.

Think about your best friend or your significant other; both were strangers at one time. How different your life would be if they had remained strangers. Thank goodness you found a way to develop a rapport that turned an initial contact into a lifelong relationship.

But something is happening in our society. Research shows that over the past several decades our inner circle — the people we trust the most — is much smaller than in the past. Today the average American trusts only 10 to 20 people.

Relationships Are More Vital Than Ever in the Business World

Understand this: There is an Uber coming to every industry. Uber is part of the digital disruption that completely turned the taxi and limousine industries upside down. But you can track similar developments in other realms. Amazon has disrupted nearly all retail businesses — grocery stores, health insurance, banks, home security, entertainment, pharmacies, and shipping, and it continues to expand into other fields. Airbnb has disrupted the hotel industry. Netflix wiped out video rental stores.

In the past, cutting-edge innovation had a much longer shelf life in overcoming competition. Now, however, many of your competitors can replicate your innovations and quickly reduce any temporary advantage you had in the market.

No business is safe. In the past, cutting-edge innovation had a much longer shelf life in overcoming competition. Now, however, many of your competitors can replicate your innovations and quickly reduce any temporary advantage you had in the market. The answer cannot just be about technology, either. To be sure, technological advancements are critical to every business staying relevant. However, technology by itself is not a differentiator. The more you place technology between the company and the customer, the more you remove the human experience.

People crave human interaction. Customers desire recognition and a personalized experience; technology can never be empathetic or build relationships. In short, technology cannot provide genuine hospitality. It cannot express empathy, make people feel cared for, express emotions and vulnerability in a relatable way, or make people smile and laugh.

For anyone and any business to thrive in the future, they will have to master the art of relationship building.

“Our careers, our companies, our relationships, and indeed our very lives succeed or fail, gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time.” –  SUSAN SCOTT

A Relationship-Building Strategy

It takes a great deal of work to build deep, long-term relationships. In Ben Healy’s article “How to Make Friends, According to Science,” he shared a recent study that found it takes approximately 50 hours of socializing to go from acquaintance to casual friend, an additional 40 hours to become a “real” friend, and a total of 200 hours to become a close friend. “Self-disclosure makes us more likable, and as a bonus, we are more inclined to like those to whom we have bared our soul. Longing for closeness and connection is universal,” Healy said.

A study by the Relational Capital Group revealed that 89 percent of senior leaders believe that relationships are the most important factor in their success year over year. However, the study also revealed that only 24 percent of these leaders actually do anything intentionally to promote building those relationships. Finally, the study further indicated that less than 5 percent of organizations actually have any specific strategies for helping their professionals develop and strengthen the relationships required to achieve their goals.

A study revealed that 89 percent of senior leaders believe that relationships are the most important factor in their success … only 24 percent of these leaders actually do anything intentionally to promote building those relationships … less than 5 percent of organizations actually have any specific strategies for helping their professionals develop and strengthen the relationships required to achieve their goals.

What It Takes to Master Rapport Building

No one is born with a rapport-building gene. And not everyone is inclined to be outgoing or to strike up a conversation with people they don’t know. The environment you grow up in plays a big part in how you act. If you had extremely outgoing parents, chances are you will grow up to behave similarly. However, even if you were not exposed to an outgoing environment in your early years, this skill set can certainly be developed and mastered. There are certain sets of characteristics you need to work on in order to master relationship building. We will be discussing them in more detail in the following chapters. But briefly, to develop strong relationships you:

  • Must be authentic
  • Must be obsessively curious
  • Must be a great listener
  • Must have incredible empathy
  • Must love people

MUST BE AUTHENTIC

People have great BS detectors. Your interest in others and your desire to make a connection must be authentic. If you are asking questions merely for appearances, just to make a sale, or to turn the conversation back to yourself, people will see through you. Not being authentic will earn you a poor reputation. You are much better served simply coming out and asking for what you want; people will respect you more. Instead of trying to manipulate people into buying products or services, you must show them you care. You need to demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in others and that you realize they are human beings with a life and not just customers you are trying to sell to.

MUST BE OBSESSIVELY CURIOUS

Those who are the strongest at relationship building are extremely curious. They are dying to learn about others and their experiences. They are curious not only about subjects that interest them but also about unfamiliar subjects. They become investigative reporters, wanting to learn as much as possible about other people’s lives and passions. They truly enjoy learning; they explore what makes human beings tick.

MUST BE A GREAT LISTENER

There is a lot more to being a good listener than just letting the other person talk. You need to be attentive, patient, make good eye contact, not interrupt, ask probing questions, and finally pause to process what you heard before responding.

MUST HAVE INCREDIBLE EMPATHY

One of our strongest human talents is the ability to empathize with another person’s situation. Seeing and understanding someone’s experience from their perspective, walking in their shoes, is key.

MUST LOVE PEOPLE

No two people are alike. No one is perfect. Everyone is flawed. Yet everyone has unlimited potential. Human beings are incredible. Everyone has a story about their life journey — what they have overcome, their accomplishments, their incredible talents, fears, regrets, and dreams. Each human being has a story inside. The fun is discovering those incredible stories. When you truly serve people, your goal is not to make money or to get them to do what you want, but to take care of their needs and desires.

Each human being has a story inside. The fun is discovering those incredible stories. When you truly serve people, your goal is not to make money or to get them to do what you want, but to take care of their needs and desires.

The Customer Service Revolution 2.0

The Relationship Economy is the follow-up to my groundbreaking book, The Customer Service Revolution. In that book I explained that creating a customer service revolution means:

A radical overthrow of conventional business mentality designed to transform what employees and customers experience. This shift produces a culture that permeates into people’s personal lives, at home, and in the community, which in turn provides the business with higher sales, morale, and brand loyalty — making price irrelevant.

In other words, the customer service revolution is about having a fanatical obsession to deliver the best possible customer experience, making it your single biggest competitive advantage. Revolutionary companies create “experience epiphanies” that fill a gap customers never knew existed. Since technological advancements have come at the expense of human connections, organizations now need to reinvent their business model to marry digital and human experiences in the best way possible.

Since technological advancements have come at the expense of human connections, organizations now need to reinvent their business model to marry digital and human experiences in the best way possible.

Why the Relationship Economy, Why Now?

In the past 25 years I have built three successful businesses, including one of the top customer service consulting firms that works with incredible companies — The Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Celebrity Cruises, and many more — and I have seen a seismic shift happening today. Technology is changing the world, and not always for the better. For all the benefits it is bringing to businesses, it is coming at a significant cost. The cost is weaker human relationships that are vital to customer experiences, employee experiences, and happiness. Focusing strictly on a digital experience will eliminate customer loyalty and emotional connection to a brand, which is why the Relationship Economy is emerging. Business leaders around the world have to take advantage of technology advancements while balancing a human experience that people crave, want, and need.

What Is the Relationship Economy?

In a Relationship Economy the primary currency is made up of the connections and trust among customers, employees, and vendors that create significantly more value in what we sell. These relationships and connections help make price irrelevant.

In a Relationship Economy the primary currency is made up of the connections and trust among customers, employees, and vendors that create significantly more value in what we sell. These relationships and connections help make price irrelevant.

The Relationship Economy is about building a culture that recognizes the importance of each individual and of making everyone a part of a community that is working toward something bigger — a community that makes them feel cared for.

The Relationship Economy is about building a culture that recognizes the importance of each individual and of making everyone a part of a community that is working toward something bigger — a community that makes them feel cared for.

The Relationship Economy is how strongly you feel about the people and businesses in your life. Relationships are the biggest differentiator in customer and brand loyalty. Relationships are at the center of all we do.

The chapters that follow explore in depth what a Relationship Economy is, why it’s important, and how to dominate in it.

Chapter 2 examines the rapid pace at which business and customer service are changing, like no other time in history.

Chapter 3 explores ways to humanize the experience, and chapter 4 delves into the new reality of the touch-screen world we are living in today.

(Continues…)

Review

”In his newest book, John DiJulius brings his customer service expertise to bear on the question of relationships. How can we build better relationships with our customers that will keep them coming back for more? DiJulius offers a smart prescription that builds on traits you already have–empathy, vulnerability, hospitality, and authenticity–that will deepen your relationships not only with customers but also with family and friends, old and new.” – Daniel Pink, author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human

”Every day, consumers are telling us what’s important to them: convenience, service, attention, empathy. Even in a digital age, personal relationships are critical to building trust and loyalty. This well-researched book will provide the inspiration to not simply connect with your customers but to build real human connections.” – Rich Kramer, Chairman, CEO, and President, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

”If true customer and employee loyalty is what you are looking for, The Relationship Economy will help you and your team build a genuine human connection and improve the impact this connection has on brand experience in the digital age.” – Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises

”I believe each of us can be classified as either a giver or a taker. John DiJulius’ latest is a must-read; it blares out to all leaders the importance of human interconnectivity at all levels within the organization. Human connectivity creates understanding, which in turn develops empathy, respect, trust, and a thriving, growing relationship among leaders, employees, and customers.” – RADM Tom Lynch, United States Navy, (ret.) Chairman, NewDay USA

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