Single Point of Contact

Wouldn't it be great-- as a consumer, customer, client-- if after your first interaction or purchase from a company, you had a single point of contact? And point of contact became an advocate for and guide to future purchases not because of their box on the org chart but because you had had some kind of productive connection during that first meeting.

Andrew Mecum, Concentric Composition 1

Companies big or small, product or service would assign you "your guy" but it would be made totally behind the scenes based on their honest assessment of personality click.  There wouldn't be any big announcement or email saying, "from now on, Lulu will be taking care of you." It'd be much more subtle. Over time, I might just notice that it was Lulu who continued to reach out, check in, and let me know about upcoming specials.

I've crossed paths with many bellman, online chat operators, and flight attendants who I loved. In the moment, whatever was needed, they took care of it and were fun, funny, and a totally great representative for their company. If they were in charge of follow up and even blast email marketing, I'd be surely be back sooner to buy again.

The lost opportunity is that with some businesses, interaction seems so random. It's just the luck of the draw on the skills and mood of the person you happen to get who determines great experience or crappy review on Yelp.

A bunch of businesses are getting this right. The doctor that delivered my kids called me after an office visit to see if I was feeling better.  No shit-- I couldn't believe it but it made such an impression that I'd never consider switching. My dentist has the right idea but, unfortunately, I don't like my high-horse, hygienist.

In consulting, we get this right most of the time.  Problems arise when the firm perceives that the client's revenue potential has outgrown the abilities of the original point of contact.  I've seen leadership swoop in at odd intervals in the name of "relationship management" only to cast doubt in the client's mind and disrupt the team in place-- something I think to watch out for or avoid, if possible.

We ended up in this world of multiple points of contact after clients followed their consultant's advice.  And, sure, there are a lot of good reasons management consultants have recommended differentiation and clear lines of authority in the past. I just think there is a higher plane-- a place where every employee is sufficiently conversant in the product or service and encouraged to bond with customers. Because they have the opportunity to continue building the relationship, the interaction is more fulfilling and more sales are made.