In the class I’m attending, there was this sentence or a sentiment that was expressed by someone who mentioned about relationships in the context of business. In this age (and the olden days as well), businesses see customer relationship as a value that is strongly correllated to revenue. Customers are more willing to enter into a new relationship given a chance offered, while keeping in touch and not losing the moment the idea of the numerous alternative relations available. It’s not about selling a product anymore where a customer simply walks-in, takes the item and pays for it, then walking away. The reality today is having to invite a customer to enter a relation to a business, to be more precise, offer a set of services for the customer to engage in. Customers nowadays are aware of services that provide tangible and intangible items as a result of that relationship. They will walk in malls and stores, read magazines and newspapers, browse the web and perhaps use a search engine. Just to compare and contrast who offers the most for a reasonable amount. When all the right reasons align, the customer simply makes a decision and enters the relationship.
Look at the image below and you’ll see bags of beans, a couple of roman columns, lion statues. Looks pretty familiar, a common sight when you go to the local market. Customers look for things to buy and also establish good relations to the owner of the business. The same behavior that customers will enter a relation given the right product.
It’s also the same in technology, businesses build services that simplify and even cut processes into half. Businesses that innovate quicker and deliver to market are more inclined to get customers who are looking for better services, and as a result these customers enter into a relation. Customers enter a tech relationship for the purpose of receiving services onto their tech gadgets. Take for example Google Map service, which is provided along with other services. A customer must first have a relationship with Google in order to access the Map service, this relation is initiated by the customer who willingly enters and sign his name in a textbox before pressing that commitment button.
As you may have guessed, relationships are a human characteristic and it is subject to many forces that can be controlled or not controlled by a business. A customer can walk away and simply not use the service, if the service is free. Or, the customer could terminate the relation at a press of a button, then billing will simply be sent at the end of the period, for the last time.
So, the interesting question is now upon me who wrote this article for the sake of documenting a sentiment I got from the class is simply stated as: “What it takes to build relationships on the web?”
- A set of innovative web services.
- A system for managing and maintaining customer accounts.
- A system for handling billing.
I’ll continue on with this in the next article. Got some stuff to read and research about. See you later.