STCO 426 Blog Post #8
The Relationship Economy by DiJulius (2019) was an interesting read for me with many fun facts that caught my eye and convicting truths that led me to think about myself. It was written in a casual and conversational tone which I appreciated. It did not make harder to read than it had to be. DiJulius wrote the book in language that was easy to understand.
DiJulius’ (2019) The Relationship Economy is about the importance of human interaction in a business context. DiJulius writes, “For anyone and any business to thrive in the future, they will have to master the art of relationship building” (p. 5). He promotes going beyond the standard and helping out customers in extra ways. He argues in his book to use the skill of amazing customer service to stand out from the surrounding competitors. DiJulius believes that this is a skill that should be taught to the employees at a business. There are multiple methods to help that he shares in his book. One method he shares, in particular, is the FORD method, an acronym of items to listen for in conversations. He explains how the letters stand for topics that are really important to people. DiJulius writes, “Using FORD tools when communicating with others is an excellent way to prime your mind to notice and hear information you otherwise would have missed” (p. 66). I really like this way of looking at it because it focuses on a good reason to want to use FORD. It can come from a genuine place of caring about people and using this tool to remember important information about them.
A fact that DiJulius (2019) brought up challenged me. DiJulius writes, “Scientists have studied the human brain and found it takes a minimum of 0.6 seconds to formulate a response to something said. Then they researched hundreds of conversations and found the average gap between people talking was 0.2 seconds” (p. 83). I do not wait long to respond personally most times, and sometimes I have interrupted people. I do want to improve at listening first and then considering my response before speaking.
DiJulius (2019) sees a real opportunity to be different from the other businesses through customer service with the changing technology and the increase in usage. He acknowledges that technology is helpful while cautioning against excessive usage. He writes, “These devices are necessary parts of our lives, and although they make many things easier or more useful, when they are overused, they can negatively impact human interaction and, more importantly, our emotional state” (p. 45). Humans still have the same need for social interaction that they had before technology and depend on relationships for their emotional stability.
DiJulius (2019) also shares in his book on the advantages of differentiation through customer service rather than through price. He shares about how it is possible for people to pay a higher cost for a great customer experience when it continually happens. DiJulius writes, “Making price irrelevant means that based on the experience your business consistently provides to your customers, they have no idea what your competition charges” (p. 123). DiJulius does acknowledge that this works to be able to raise the cost within reason. I also agree that this can work to an extent.
DiJulius (2019) shares so many tips in his book, including on hiring. He writes, “Every time you select someone, your culture gets better or worse” (p. 169). This is such simple advice. In my personal experience, businesses like people that fit with their culture and help infuse life into it.
Overall, I liked DiJulius’ (2019) book and learned a lot. I did, however, feel that the advice seemed self-serving. Even though his advice sometimes could seem selfless, it was ultimately promoting to people to do certain initiatives in order to profit. In conclusion, DiJulius provided a lot of good and practical advice as well as research to think about.
DiJulius, J. R., III. (2019). The relationship economy: Building stronger customer connections in the digital age (1st ed.). Greenleaf Book Group Press. https://www.amazon.com/Relationship-Economy-Building-Stronger-Connections-ebook/dp/B07WNYCDJJ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=