Maximize Your Positive Interactions

Maximise positive interactions

Make every contact count, in a good way.

Much in business and life is about frequency. In selling, ‘frequency’ is a key term. It refers to the number of times you reach your customers through certain channels. If you are a travelling sales person, the frequency can be the number of doors you knock on. In online marketing and e-commerce it is the number of ad impressions, the clicks on those ads that bring visitors to your websites, and the resulting sales. Frequency is any kind of interaction with a customer, and can also be applied to the layout of a retail store, a supermarket or a mall, referring to the way customers are exposed to the offerings and the deliberate path that takes you through the building. In a political campaign, for example, it may be the number of hands you shake.

A large part of your life is interactions with other people, not only people you physically meet every day but in addition all your digital interactions. Today’s social networks offer the possibility to interact globally on a scale never seen before. Updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, company intranets and other online forums empower you to communicate daily with a large group of people. This was simply not possible before.
By communicating with more people online, you will eventually also meet more people offline. You get in touch, get to know each other and eventually meet for some reason or the other in the real world, have lunch. How many interactions do you have every day, online and offline? Not counting the constant flow in the social networks and various updates, I would say I probably have an average of 100 interactions every day: breakfast with my children, meetings, brief checks with col- leagues, emails, messages, calls, texts, random encounters. That makes it around 36,000 interactions every year, not counting the online chatter in social networks. That is 36,000 opportunities to transmit a positive or negative experience.

In his book Moments of Truth, Jan Carlzon describes the insight that the whole company is judged in every single interaction between a customer and an employee of the company. Jan used to run an airline, with countless opportunities for interactions between the company’s staff and its customers, from check-in at the airport to touch-down at the destination. If the interaction with the company employee is positive, the whole company is regarded positively.

Jan Carlzon: ‘Each of our 10 million customers came in contact with approximately five Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) employees, and this contact lasted an average of 15 seconds each time. Thus, SAS is “created” 50 million times a year, 15 seconds at a time. These 50 million “moments of truth” are the moments that ultimately determine whether SAS will succeed or fail as a company. They are the moments when we must prove to our customers that SAS is their best alternative.’

If the encounter is negative, it reflects badly on the whole company. How many times do you think you have dismissed an entire corporation because of a single bad experience? It happens, right?

Now imagine you are like that company. You also have countless interactions with the people around you, and you are judged in your entirety by each interaction. Whether online or offline, you want to make a good impression and spread energy. Aim for maximizing your positive interactions.