In every customer interaction, there are only three things that can happen:
- Your relationship gets better
- Your relationship stays the same
- Your relationship gets worse
Scenario #1 is an “encounter.” Scenarios #2 & #3 are “transactions.”
As you interact with people this week, in the course of doing your work, notice this at the end of each interaction: Is my relationship with this person better now than it was at the start of the interaction? Have we created a relationship-building encounter?
Here are a few places you can learn more about the differences between encounters and transactions:
- Chapter 2 in my book, We: The Ideal Customer Relationship.
- My free ebook, Encounters, which can be downloaded on the right side of this page.
- This newsletter, The Encounter Habit.
- And numerous blog posts on this site.
But, for this week, focus on encounter awareness. Notice whether you are creating encounters or transactions.
Then, work on creating more encounters. Even if you are a master of business relationship-building, you have room for improvement. Everyone does. Every customer interaction is not only an opportunity to build a relationship, it is an opportunity to practice the skill of encounter, one of the most valuable business skills you can have.