Do Your Customer Relationships Advance the Human Condition? (Article #3)

By Mark Dancer


Hello Innovators!

We’re on a roll. This article is our third on Rebooting the Real World. Many readers have shared comments, and many others have reached out through InMail and phone calls. All are appreciated. Truly.

If you are just finding us, our work is about exploring and encouraging human-centric innovations. Today, traditional businesses must compete in the virtual world, but the most potent and differentiated customer experiences are about doing business as humans for humans.

This article is about strengthening your customer relationships by creating value for them as humans.

A Starter Kit for Human-Centric Customer Relationships

A great place to start is to ask yourself how deep and lasting personal relationships are created and exploring how your business can do the same for its customers. Recently, I’ve been asking this question of every business leader I meet. Three criteria dominate our discussions:

  1. Trust — do your customers trust your products and services? Your salespeople? Your leaders? Your business? When customers shop online, trust is straightforward – customers expect the right product at a fair price delivered quickly. When value is given through humans in the real world, expectations are multifaceted because human interactions are inherently complex — if you are paying attention, that is.
  2. Commitment — for many customers, the coronavirus crisis has separated the wheat from the chaff when it comes to suppliers that want their business. Excellent suppliers will do whatever it takes to help their customers stay in business, even as they struggle themselves. As the crisis passes, human-centric relationships can sustain a reputation for genuine commitment through thick and thin, in good times and in bad.
  3. Purpose — is doing business with your company about something more than meeting needs, solving problems, and filling orders? Does your company have a higher mission? Do you work to improve the fortunes of your customers? Do your customers sense that your employees are indisputably excited to work for your business? If asked by your customers, what is your purpose? Do you have an answer?

Building Towards UNBREAKABLE Customer Loyalty

Discovering the behaviors that create trust, demonstrate commitment, and communicate purpose is an arduous undertaking, but figuring out how to measure successful execution is harder. Achieving excellent human-centric relationships with your customers is worth the effort. It’s about building unbreakable loyalty – an allegiance that stands up to the threat of disruption, shifting generational values, revolutionary technologies, and social upheaval. It’s about winning hearts and minds more than taking share and profits. It’s about doing business that advances the human condition.

Looking forward to our journey together,


This content was originally posted on Distributing Ideas, The NAW Blog. There, you will find a complete collection of posts as a Fellow for the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, as well as perspectives from a wide range of distribution experts and thought leaders. Click here.


Mark Dancer

NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow

Mark Dancer founded the Network for Business Innovation to drive awareness, advocacy and excellence for B2B innovation, and to enable an exchange of ideas between leaders on business transformation, technology adoption, social impact and community engagement. For more than 30 years, Mark has worked with leading companies to achieve go-to-market excellence across a wide range of industries in developed and emerging markets.