Do you do business with another company where you know a
specific person you contact for products or services for that company?
It’s common for a company to designate a specific person, a
sales person, account manager, or territory manager who is responsible for
taking care of you as a customer. In business interaction language this
is often called a one-to-many relationship model where that person may service
many customers but as a customer you only have to remember one contact to
engage in business with that company.
As a customer this provides an excellent experience, the
personal nature of the relationship ensures continuity and shared
understanding. . It also has
the added benefit of “knowing a guy” at that vendor you can recommend and trust
a good referred experience. This type of
interaction model lets businesses develop relationships with customers that
establish trust and communication which can support high value transactions as
well as excellent customer experiences. That trust is important, because
without it a company would need to spend handsomely in brand development and
marketing to gain similar customer comfort to support these types of
It’s no surprise that this model is favored by small
businesses, but I’m surprised at how often I see this in action at businesses
of every size. I personally have single points of contact at several
multi-billion dollar companies, even in cases where I’m not necessarily a high
dollar value client. I favor my relationships with these organizations
versus relationships I have with brands or transaction oriented companies. In
general I don’t like the idea that my experience with a company is dependent on
someone’s ability to create a process that has me excited about my experience
after being through a gauntlet of disconnected interactions.
I shouldn’t be surprised I’m biased this way – Sage ACT! is
specifically designed to support businesses who employ a one-to-many
interaction model and I’m naturally a big fan of doing business this way. Sage ACT! has always been designed with this interaction model in mind and it’s fun
to watch organizations who value this type of business relationship strategy
appreciate that Sage ACT! “Get’s it” when it comes to the unique needs this type of
strategy has for a technology solution.
When I’m contacted by a vendor for work pitching their
products I ask, “If I become your customer will I be able to contact you
directly for anything I need?” If the answer is, "Just call our 1-800
number and one of our agents will help you out", I always want to transfer the
sales call to a 1-800 number where one of my friendly customer agents can, “politely decline your offer”.
Perhaps I’ve been hanging around customers who care about
their customer experiences too long and I’ve lost my perspective, but it feels
good as a customer to “know a guy” at my vendor that I can trust sending my