As was the case during the first Corona lock-down, “the sales department” is now to invest more heavily in “customer relations”. This means contacting customers by phone or conference call and “let’s talk …”.
This type of call is usually perceived by both sides as rather unpleasant and – as we all know – it is often quickly over. The contact is then in any case made, the verification box ticked.
Action is taken and customer loyalty is established. Honestly? Does that make the customer happy?
Or should the goal be better: Connecting with the customer and conjuring up a smiley face.

Customer relations in times of digitalization

Actually a good idea to get in touch with the customer in the age of digitalization. In most cases, touchpoints of customers with companies along the customer journey are rarely characterized by F2F contacts. You encounter a brand or a product today in the digital media: on websites, in e-brochures, at an add or an influencer in social media. In pictures or via well-designed video clips. Sometimes also in a call center voice.

Purchase and order processes are now also digitalized and subject to a secure and standardized process. Simple usability wins out. With as few clicks as possible on the Datahighway to a quick solution. With the advantage that the user’s own data is stored and further contacts are then suggested by the virtual assistant. You have to do less and less yourself.

And now again from person to person

The human being usually has no place in this process. In the meantime, he is no longer missed. The customer has become accustomed to communicating with the machines, the digital brand representatives and colorful images. Sometimes he/she still comes by personally in a store. There, a live encounter takes place in real time. One touchpoint among many.

In the meantime, the employee named at the beginning of this article is already a long way away from the customer. There is still a note about the customer’s wishes and needs in the customer database. But how do you tie in with this? How to build a bridge and create a connection with the customer?
What do you say now, after you have said “Good day”?

And this in COVID times, where everyone is intensively occupied with his own topics. Partly with high emotional involvement. That is then simply included in the call. To catch it alone brings many people to their limits. TCJG offers on request of our customers exactly to this topic specially designed workshops.

Connectedness with the customer

At the moment, when we sit in front of the screen for hours and days and get tired of the many faces in honeycombs and the overfeeding with animations, the inner voice is slowly knocking again.
A personal contact, an exchange from person to person, someone who listens, an individual feedback on what is being said – yes, that would really be desirable.

In other words, it is exactly the right time to make personal contact with the customer again.
The best way to do this is with one goal: to create a connection with the customer.

Connectedness describes a form of relationship experience that has an emotional impact. A feeling of being noticed and listened to with one’s own needs. To develop a desire to experience more of these contacts.

Connectedness with the customer means that the customer is the first and foremost factor in a contact. And not the ticking box or whether or not there is a quick conclusion in it. It means to focus all your interest on the customer and to be curious about him and his world. This can be done in a structured way. With the positive effect of regaining individual customer data, which contributes to lasting customer connectedness.

How does it work – customer connectedness?

We are happy to share some tips on how “customer connectedness” can be successful.

  • Own attitude
    First of all, it has something to do with the attitude and inner alignment with which one makes contact. Here curiosity is required and openness to results. And of course courage, if one is to go without completely formulated goal to another person.
  • Goal or purpose
    Then it would be good to define a purpose for the contact instead of a clear goal. Maybe something like giving the customer a change or diversion in his virtual home-office day.
  • Structure
    Not having a concrete goal, but simply getting involved in the contact does not have to mean that you do not follow any structure. On the contrary. We suggest that you use the time to really get to know your customer. For example, do you ask him how he organizes his current day? What is currently moving him in and around the business? What does he do in his limited free time? What wishes or ideas have been newly created or have become concrete during this time?
    And just listen. Your customer will tell you a variety of points of contact for small and large “goddies” that you can do for him and which will be reflected in a concrete business at some point. That’s a promise.
  • Format
    Make it clear right from the start with the invitation. No, this is not a classic ticking-box follow-up phone call. Invite to a “virtual café” instead. Or maybe even to a “Walk and Talk”. Either in pairs live or each one separately, connected with a conference call via smartphone.
    Specify the time frame (20-40 minutes) in advance and outline the “agenda”. It should say something like: “I actually only have one TOP on the agenda: I would like to hear and understand how you are doing in these current times”.
    An occurrence of connection is guaranteed. WOW experience and happy customer too. Try it out and amaze.
    And take something for yourself as well: Connectedness!

You shape the future.
With us it works well!

Stay healthy.


Your Customer is King

“I need to tell you something! You cannot believe how I was treated during my last vacation! I felt like a king” A friend of mine said that to me a few weeks ago and he recalled vividly his experiences from his last summer vacation with his wife on a stunning island in Thailand. I knew that they spent their honeymoon in an exclusive hotel three years ago and wanted to revive these wonderful moments last summer. He told me when they arrived in the hotel, a surprise followed the next. At first, they were greeted by name by the bellboy upon arrival. Then, the receptionist informed them that she already reserved their favourite table on the gallery if they decide to have dinner in the hotel’s own restaurant. When they entered their hotel room, they found two freshly squeezed juices and a hand-written card saying: “Welcome back! We prepared your favourite juices for your sense of well-being. Enjoy!” In fact, those juices were exactly the ones both preferred during their last stay three years ago. My friend was totally overwhelmed, not only by such a high degree of appreciation but also by the surprising effect.

The Needs of the Customer at the Centre of your Consideration

In theory those experiences are described with the term Customer Experience (CX) and are an essential part of a customer-centric approach. Customer Centricity means that the customer is at the centre of all considerations. Critical minds might note that Customer Centricity is only a new way of describing the familiar concept “Customer is king”. In fact, a customer-centric design and marketing approach for products and services goes far beyond a simple customer-oriented method. Customer Orientation itself focuses mainly on customer satisfaction, whereas, a customer-centric approach tries to identify the customers’ needs (a feeling that is rooted in a sense of shortage) beforehand and align the design around the identified needs. This means that products and services are not only designed to best match customer wishes but rather generate greater added value by fulfilling the needs of the customer. This could even generate a demand for innovative products that customers were not aware of in the first place. A popular example is the Apple iPad. The action camera GoPro was originally developed as gadget for ambitious surfer that wanted to record their surf ride. However, in no time the small and solid camera induced a huge demand to record and share leisure activities even if they were not truly ambitious per se.

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos names Customer Centricity as Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for his company:

„The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth‘s most customer-centric company”.

Currently, Jeff Bezos tries various innovative solutions for distribution and logistics (such as drone delivery) to reach the customers in their living environment and ease the buying process. The current strategic focus shows clearly that a customer-centric approach is derived from three main dimensions: Customer Value, Customer Experience and Customer Lifecycle.

Ask yourself the following questions: What explicit value does the product offer for my customer, beyond a simple product advantage? Where and how could we create individual customer experiences? How does the customer lifecycle for my product look like? That means: What are the Customer Touchpoints (all potential spots to get in contact with the customer)? Starting from an initial contact until a follow-up after a purchase. Combining these dimensions shows how experience and added value are interlinked across all potential touchpoints.

Implementation of a Customer-Centric Approach

Many companies transform their processes with a focus on extensive Customer Centricity (follow the links below). Showrooms are restructured radically („Audi City“ in Berlin), virtual 24/7 chat platforms (Vodafone) are established and emotional marketing campaigns are launched (TD Bank). However, the return is often not reasonable in relation to expensive initiatives. Costs can be identified clearly but short- or mid-term results cannot be traced back solely to the initiative. Therefore, it is important to present a viable business case.

A success criterion for developing customer-centric initiatives is a customer-driven investigation of needs. In the course of agile development, innovative methods such as Design Thinking proved itself when it comes to exploring the living environment of the customers. Ideas for target-oriented products and services are developed, based on numerous observations, customer interviews and a detailed analysis. The resulting product ideas are iterated in various cycles and further developed with customers. The concluding product is then tested by selected customers and the feedback is considered to create the final product.

Design Thinking – a Helpful Method to Create New Ideas for Customer Centricity

We use Design Thinking across industries in organisations as well as in retail to put employees in the shoes of their customers and let them experience the world around them from a client’s perspective. For this, the employees see through the eyes of sample personas with typical characteristics of their customers and go on a customer journey to explore comparable brands and products. Alternatively, the customer could be involved right at the beginning to co-create ideas and being asked about their needs.

We repeatedly face the challenge in the service industry that a customer-centric service behaviour requires a mindset change. It is about a true interest in the person and not only in the customer. It is about putting the customer in the centre, about empathetic listening and an intrinsic disposition to think beyond standards and create individual solutions. Customer experiences do not necessarily require efforts in monetary form such as gifts or give-aways. Extraordinary experiences are rather about authentic attention, individual solutions and the surprising effect. One of my favourite examples for this is the famous Hotel Group Ritz Carlton. A little boy forgot his plush toy “Joshie, the giraffe” in one of its hotels. The hotel returned the toy by post but attached a series of photographs that pictured how “Joshie” spent his last days at the hotel. The pictures showed “Joshie” relaxing in the spa, working in the office and sunbathing by the pool… (see link below). In summary: Customer Centricity is an attitude, not a tool.

My friend experienced that attitude during his vacation at the honeymoon hotel and told me recently that a stay at “his” hotel is already in plan.


Get inspired by a few examples of extraordinary customer experiences:

#10: Ritz-Carlton Helps with Joshie’s Extended Vacation

Customer Experience at TD Bank

Customer Centricity at Vodafone

McKinsey about added value through Customer Journeys