As the downturns kicked in last year for a while it seemed the music may stop. But then someone said ” Play it again, Sam?”. In our company this has seen some rapid growth in e-demand for our services. This is especially so in support area as customers had deferred investments in favor of making things work a bit longer while things were tough.
As one who literally works daily in 3 continents and in as many languages, I am a fan of the idea that I can collaborative simply with pervasive communicational tools. These days we can also all use then at an easily affordable cost.
For me and my colleagues was are able to do this using our versions of Beam Me Up Scotty communicator to keep in touch on a far wider surface than the conventional quarter mile of traditional business. Hence as the demand has changed we are always in touch and contactable with this capability we now continue to service long standing customers often without the need to even leave home.
For 15 years and more we have been able to connect in some way like this. Both informally and formally alliances and colleagues do business this way and more recently we also do it directly with customers.
Even as they move around when I turn on our computers each morning I have maintained a strong presence that has kept me in touch personally with key contacts and customers on a daily basis. Daily habits are also subliminal as people come and go online with an in touch awareness that keeps us connected. And once trust is established we are generally all happy to be available to each other at any old time.
But of course the face to face activity will never be totally replaced. For example selling is a contact process that requires continual reinforcement of trust, and capability. These credibility assurances are vital to maintain ongoing connections. The ability to listen and anticipate needs is the real key that provides the quality in the dynamics of business. This cannot be done without physical presence so salesman and supply chain players must continue waking around. And without that best laid plans for automated process supply will also fail as competitors exploit any gaps that appear and move in on your patch.
That is why, even though systems give us great contact presence online now, we must never forget to call in on our suppliers and customers from time to time.