When was the last time you played Red Rover? The game is quite simple. You create a chain of people who hold hands (roughly at arm’s length from each other) and the other team tries to break the chain of people. Breaking through the chain is usually quite easy. The connections just aren’t that strong. They could be stronger if you were able to lock forearms with the people on either side of you. That would make breaking the chain harder. Now imagine for a moment that each person in the chain has four arms so they can make two connections on either side. Suddenly, the chain gets much stronger. The chain would be almost impossible to break if everyone simply hugged. It’s quite the challenge to run through two people and split them up when they’re hugging, let alone an entire chain of people. Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait…
Everyone OK? Great!
Companies need to create more touchpoints and connections with customers, then work on strengthening those connections on a regular basis. It’s not about providing customer support in disparate environments with no proper communication channels in place; that could very easily get out of hand. But it is about making sure that you’re accessible and available through different mediums – focusing on those mediums that your customers use. And not just for customer service. Being present and visible is important. Customers like to see that the founders and employees of companies they work with are out there, interacting and participating. It adds confidence and builds brand. Think about touchpoints when you work on developing customer service initiatives and policies around employee use of social networking-type tools. The more touchpoints, the better.
And just like the game of Red Rover, it’s not just about how strong a connection you have with the person on either side of you, but how strong the other connections in the chain are as well. If there are weak connections in that chain, your team loses. Companies need to create more touchpoints and connections between customers. That will strengthen the entire ecosystem that exists around the company, helping customers, and benefiting the company significantly.
image courtesy of shutterstock.