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Managing the New Customer Relationship: Strategies to Engage the Social Customer and Build Lasting Value by Ian H. Gordon

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Chapter 4

One-Through-One: Engaging Social Customers

“Get someone else to blow your own horn and the sound will carry twice as far.”

Will Rogers (1879–1935)

This chapter discusses the development of relationships with potential customers who are known to existing customers as well as those people and organizations who might reasonably be engaged using social media. This chapter is entitled “One-Through-One” because, in this discussion, the company looks to sustain relationships not only with its existing customers but also to access and then develop relationships with the connections these people know. As customers and potential customers converse, the enterprise seeks to become part of the conversation, engaging in communications and progressively deeper dialog that leads to more meaningful interactions and, in due course, transactions. The company seeks to use existing customers as a gateway to reach their individual networks, associations and connections. This gated access is termed “one-through-one,” in that the company looks at, through and beyond existing customers to bridge to, and connect with, those they influence. This is more than simple word of mouth or even what might be termed “word of mouse,” the online equivalent. While word of mouth is about facilitating the proliferation of information from customer to contact, one-through-one seeks to engage each individual customer uniquely with a tailored message best suited to his or her prior interactions, transactions, ...

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